Today, University Archives joins the world in remembering Nelson Mandela. Mr. Mandela passed away yesterday, December 5th.
An anti-apartheid activist and the first black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela famously spent 27 years in prison for the charge of inciting workers’ strikes and leaving the country without permission. Mandela served as the president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 after his unconditional release from prison on 11 February 1990.
Nelson Mandela and the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa were an inspiration to Carolina students in the 1980s. From 1985 to 1987, the student-run Anti-Apartheid Support Group called for divestiture of all UNC-CH holdings in companies operating in South Africa. The protests peaked in March and April of 1986 when student members erected a shanty-town in Polk Place in front of South Building. When the Endowment Board of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill voted to divest all of its holdings in companies operating in South Africa in October 1987, the group disbanded.
Check out coverage of the protests in Black Ink, the newspaper of the Black Student Movement.