Historical Archives

The Prexy Nesbitt Papers is a collection of organizational records and
personal papers documenting Southern African solidarity work from the
early 1970’s to the present. Housed at the Wisconsin Historical Society
in Madison, Wisconsin, it is a unique collection of rare ephemera representing the contributions made by Western organizations and individuals to the liberation struggles in Southern Africa.

Located within the Social Action Archives of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, here within one collection are newspapers, journals, leaflets, diaries, notes, letters, posters, drama and poetry profiling the history of several anti-apartheid organizations and Africa solidarity campaigns during the 1960’s-1990’s.

To learn more:
The Social Action Archives

State Historical Society of Wisconsin

608 264 6478


On the Meaning of Prexy Nesbitt’s Historical Archives:

The Prexy Nesbitt archive is an extremely valuable collection that documents years of largely invisible—but ultimately very important—on-the-ground organizing around anti-imperialist and African solidarity issues, including but not limited to anti-apartheid organizing. The collection captures much more than a single activist’s biography. It traverses more than three decades of a key activist’s participation in a variety of organizations, many of them Chicago-based, mostly locally-self organized but deeply connected to the work of fellow activists elsewhere in North America as well as in Europe and Africa. Several times over the period covered—from the mid-1960s through mid-1990s—Nesbitt himself relocates elsewhere, notably to New York (where he is very involved in the Coalition to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa, COBLSA) and Geneva (where he works for the WCC Programme to Combat Racism). Taken as a whole, the collection provides extraordinary insight into the shifting constellation of people and organizations that provided the infrastructure of much of the African solidarity and anti-apartheid work in Chicago, in the U.S., and internationally, and into Nesbitt’s own role connecting activists and building coalitions across lines of racial and generational divides.

-Evalyn Tennant, Center for international Studies, University of Chicago