Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement

Document Type



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Publication Date

Spring 2010


Students, Political activity, Coalition for Illinois' Divestment from South Africa, Steve Biko, Sharpeville Massacre, Martin Luther King Jr., Dennis Brutus, Walter Max Sisulu, Nelson Mandela, Chicago Committee in Solidarity with Southern Africa, African National Congress, Pan Africanist Congress, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (South Africa)


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


Length: 67 minutes

Oral history interview of Zeva Schub by Lynette Marie Reid

Zeva Schub’s activism began early during her time in high school. She was involved in civil rights activism and carried it over when she went to college at the University of Illinois. She describes the influence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had on her and her sister, who was involved in the Anti-apartheid movement in Chicago, which is what prompted her to join the cause. She describes becoming a member of CIDSA (Coalition for Illinois Divestment in South Africa) and joining other organizations that were opposed to U.S. policies in Central America, the Vietnam War, and various others that were dedicated to combat war and injustice all over the world. She describes how she became a lawyer and was also involved in nonprofit organizations. She tells of how her group helped other anti-Apartheid organizations in South Africa that led to the development of better education in the country. She mentions how she contributed to Harold Washington’s campaign for mayor of Chicago and later went to South Africa to witness the first elections. Schub explains how she visited South Africa through the National Lawyers Guild and, during her time there, was tasked with screening people that made the trip with them to make sure they understood what was happening in the country. She also mentions that her group was also in charge of the election process and make sure people were allowed to vote.

Biography and Comments

Zeva Schub was born in 1951 and raised on Chicago's South Side. She attended the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana where she was involved in several activist movements. Working against injustice, she was active from the mid 1970s to the late 1990s in anti-apartheid activities. A key organization with which she was involved was CIDSA, the Coalition for Illinois Divestment in South Africa, who held annual Soweto Day Walkathons to raise money for South African organizations. She also spoke at schools and churches about Apartheid and divestment from South Africa. A lawyer, she has worked with Mental Health Legal Services of Chicago and as legal director of the Fair Housing Project for the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing in Chicago.

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 Zeva Schub.pdf (211 kB)



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