African Labor History: New Discussion Group

African Labor History: New Discussion Group

The recent changes in South Africa and the collapse of Apartheid have once again thrust African workers into the forefront of the Contin- ent's struggle for social justice and popular democracy. The role played by the men and women of South Africa's vibrant, radical trade union movement has raised a number of theoretical and practical questions about the possibilities of workers' rights within the context of capitalism in Africa. Similarly, the role of the Nigerian trade union movement in the popular struggle against the military has indicated the complexity of workers' responses to political questions confronting African societies.

The African Labor History Discussion Group was established by a group of scholars attending the Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association in Toronto, Canada in late 1994. We recognize that the electronic media gives us an excellent opportunity to form a network of historians of African labor in North America, Europe and the African continent. We invite others with an interest in African labor history to join us.

The convener is Carolyn A. Brown of Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. People interested in subscribing must send an application i.e. a letter stating their interest in African labor history and their area of interest.

The concerns of the group are:

1. To further the study of African labor history within the discipline of African history. We feel that African workers are a pivotal group in the struggle for justice on the continent and we are committed to making their history a resource for their current empowerment.

2. To encourage the rethinking and reconceptualization of African labor history by incorporating new and relevant perspectives from gender studies and social and cultural history.

3. To assist scholars working in the field in locating resources for their research.

4. To help new scholars identify publication outlets, grants, conferences and job placement.

5. To assist scholars on the African continent, forced to work under the most favorable of conditons, to participate as members of a community of scholars, in the debates and discussion in the field. Furthermore, we are committed to assisting them in locating resources for their work.

6. To enable scholars in North America to become involved in the discussions/debates by intellectuals and activists on the African continent.

7. To serve as a conduit for information on grants, new publications, conferences, etc.

8. To carry news about the current condition of African workers.

9. To assist scholars in locating archival materials and other research material.

10. To promote the development of a community of scholars whose concern with the African worker is not just historical but reaches to their current struggle for social justice and democracy.

If you would like to join the AfriLabor list send a message to:

In the message state that you want to subscribe, your full name and affiliation.

Message-Id: []
Date:  Sun, 22 Jan 1995 00:29:01 -0500
From: Abdul-Rehman Malik as-Shukri []
Subject: New Discussion Group:  AfriLabor (fwd)

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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