Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement

Document Type



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Publication Date

Spring 2010


Florida State University, Northwestern University, Prexy Nesbitt, African National Congress, International Business Machines Corporation, Jimmy Carter, George Schmidt, Board of Education of the City of Chicago, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko, South Africa, Soweto Uprising, Abbie Hoffman, Barack Obama, Harold Washington, Bobby Rush, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, League of Women Voters (Chicago), American Civil Liberties Union, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa), Zimbabwe, Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg), District Six (Cape Town), AIDS (Disease)


Political Science | Political Theory | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Work, Economy and Organizations


Length: 97 minutes

Oral history interview of Constance Prince by Brett Edward King

In her interview, Ms. Prince details her difficult childhood in Florida, her first marriage, the birth of her daughter, and her divorce. She recalls how she completed her degree at Florida State University and moved with her daughter to Chicago to attend Northwestern University. She describes how she first learned of South African apartheid at Northwestern through Prexy Nesbitt. This, she explains, led to her involvement in the anti-apartheid movement: at the urging of Nesbitt and George Schmidt, she wrote a three-piece series outlining the history of apartheid for the teacher’s newspaper, Substance, that exposed how the CPS Pension Board’s investments supported South African apartheid. She recalls meeting with the Pension Board to argue their case, which led to the board’s decision to divest from companies doing business with South Africa.

Ms. Prince then turns her attention to the years following her article, her academic work, political involvement, family life, and her visit to post-apartheid South Africa with Nesbitt and others. She touches upon her thoughts on the present political landscape and the wider impact of the anti-apartheid movement.

Biography and Comments

Ms. Prince was born in Bangor, Maine and raised in Hollywood, Florida. She earned a BA from Florida State University before attending Northwestern University for her MAT. She worked as a Chicago Public School English teacher and played an integral in involving the CPS Pension Board in the financial boycott against the South African apartheid government.

The interviewer conducted this oral history as part of his/her coursework for the Spring 2010 class, Oral History: The Art of the Interview. This interview supports the scope and content of the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection at the College Archives & Special Collections department of Columbia College Chicago. Contact for more information and to view the collection.

Additional Files

Interview with Constance Prince.pdf (320 kB)



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