The African Activist Archive is an archive of primary source materials related to activism in the United States supporting the African fight against colonialism, aparteid, and social injustice from the 1950s to the 1990s. The archive was cosponsored by the African Studies Center and MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online at Michigan State University, and a description of these agencies, as well as others who were involved in the creation of this site, like consulting project director Richard Knight, can be found here. The content of the archives have come from a variety of sources and collections, both private and academic. The archival staff have also made an effort to encourage and help those with private collections to work to have their collections deposited in public repositories.

Some of the sources that are included on the website are interviews, historical materials including newsletter, bulletins, leaflets, etc. There is also a section which lists archival collections related to the archive’s purpose, and where they can be found. There aren’t unified collections of sources on the site by theme or by person involved with the source, which could be useful for research purposes, but there is a search function, and also a tab where the user can also browse by source type, area of subject or creation, by organization, and more. Finally, there is a section that references related sites, which have similar purposes or sources as the African Activist archive.

This site is especially excellent at providing access to a variety of sources (by type and by geographical focus) for a general audience. Not only does it contain sources related to activism for African social justice, but it actively contributes to the continued collection of sources in public repositories as well as the archive itself. Teachers and students could use this archive as a general reference place for primary sources, as well as a starting point for focused research projects into specific organizations, as well as examinations on how activism is documented.

Reviewed by Carolyn Mason, George Mason University
How to Cite This Source
Carolyn Mason, African Activist Archive in World History Commons,