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Press Release  
Release Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 11:18 AM
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Media Contacts:
Adrena Ifill
(202) 596-7928      
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist

USA - ANC Centenary Committee to commemorate the 100th Anniversary
of the founding of African National Congress and the liberation movement in Africa

On Monday, December 12, 2011, the USA - ANC Centenary Committee will host a launch event to detail its plans and activities for the 100 year celebration to be marked in 2012.  The event will take place at noon at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20045.

The overall goal of the USA-ANC Centenary Committee is to coordinate ANC centennial activities in the United States, acting as the chief liaison between regional groups, the South African Embassy and the ANC. The USA-ANC Centenary Celebrations highlight the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and serve as a celebration of other continent-wide, anti-colonial movements. The centenary celebrations would place significant emphasis on remembering the movements and honoring those who fought for liberation. The celebrations USA - ANC Centenary Committee to commemorate the 100th Anniversary -will also honor the worldwide and Diaspora contributions to South African freedom. The Committee is made up of those who supported the liberation movements. 

The Committee members include Dr. Joseph Harris, Dr. Jean Bailey, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, James Early, Nicole Lee (TransAfrica Forum), and Dr. Elsie Scott (Congressional Black Caucus Foundation). There are five regions represented on the Committee – New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.  Each region will host local commemoration activities.

Given our shared legacies, the ANC National Centenary Committee invited the Howard University Republic of South Africa Project (HURSAP) to coordinate American participation in the Centenary.  HURSAP is a Howard University program for education, research and service on South African affairs. The program institutes collaborative relationships with South African institutions, brings speakers from South Africa to the University, supports faculty and student initiatives, and coordinates South Africa-related research and program activities by members of the Howard community.

The United States shares with South Africa a number of important historical and contemporary milestones in the long struggle for human rights.  It is, therefore, appropriate that the U.S.  participate in the ANC Centenary for 2012.  Specific justifications for this assertion include the following:

  • The first five Blacks to receive the Nobel Peace Award were from these two countries - Ralph Bunche and Martin L. King from the U.S. and Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela from South Africa.
  • Both countries had officially sanctioned patterns of racial segregation and violence, and both evolved peaceful means to dismantle racial barriers and to progress toward an equitable society.
  • Blacks in both countries became agents in their own efforts to affirm their identity and to participate as equals in their nation.
  • Separate Black institutions, such as HBCUs and HDIs, served an active role in educating Blacks as they became meaningful participants in their national society.  And all along the way, individuals from other national and racial groups assisted in the liberation process. 

For more information about HURSAP and the USA-ANC Centenary Committee, please contact Dr. Jean Bailey at

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