American Labor’s Anti-Apartheid Movement and Nelson Mandela’s 1990 U.S. Tour

Meghan Courtney, Reuther Library archivist, discusses Nelson Mandela’s 1990 visit to the U.S. as well as his long-term relationship with the American Labor Movement during his time in prison and after his release.

Mandela’s 12 day, 8 city fundraising tour in June 1990 took place just months after his release from 27 years in a South African prison and included visits to the AFL-CIO, AFSCME’s convention, UAW Local 600 and Tiger Stadium. Courtney explores Mandela’s philosophical alignment with the labor movement, labor’s support for anti-apartheid efforts in the U.S., and archival collections at the Reuther Library where researchers might find evidence of Mandela’s friendships and partnerships.

Courtney is the Reuther Library’s Outreach Archivist and former AFSCME Archivist.

Related Collections

AFSCME Office of the Secretary-Treasurer: Bill Lucy Records

UAW Presidents Office: Owen Bieber Records

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Records

UAW Fair Practices and Anti-Discrimination Department Records

AFSCME Office of the Presdient: Gerald McEntee Records

Episode Credits

Producers: Dan Golodner and Troy Eller English

Host: Dan Golodner

Interviewee: Meghan Courtney

Sound: Troy Eller English

With support from the Reuther Podcast Collective: Bart Bealmear, Elizabeth Clemens, Meghan Courtney, Troy Eller English, Dan Golodner, Paul Neirink, and Mary Wallace