Anti-Apartheid Movement

Read about the important role of CBC members in dismantling the apartheid system of South Africa.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) played a major role in the dismantling of the apartheid system in South Africa. Representative Ronald V. Dellums (D-CA) introduced the CBC’s first bill concerning apartheid in 1972. Over the next 14 years, CBC members sponsored more than 15 bills concerning apartheid. Members urged the United States government to withdraw financial support from the South African government. The CBC also encouraged American universities and corporations to divest from doing business with South Africa.

Members sponsored hearings, organized rallies, and participated in protests in Washington D.C., as well as in their home districts. Their efforts, in conjunction with the efforts of community activists, students and other organizations, brought widespread attention to the racist and inhumane treatment of blacks in South Africa.

In 1985, Representative William H. Gray (D-PA) introduced H.R. 1460, a bill that prohibited loans and new investment in South Africa. Congress approved this legislation one year later, and it became known as the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. This legislation called for a trade embargo against South Africa and the immediate divestment of American corporations.



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