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Prexy Nesbitt: Footsoldiering for Peace

October 3, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Social justice activist and educator Rozell "Prexy" Nesbitt will present "Footsoldiering for Peace: From Martin Luther King, Jr. to Nelson Mandela and Samora Machel" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23 in Morgan Hall 109 on the Western Illinois University Macomb campus.

Nesbitt will discuss the anti-apartheid movement and African solidarity movement in the United States and the United States' black freedom struggle, including both the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party's struggle. In addition to the presentation, which is open free to the public, Nesbitt will meet with classes throughout the day. According to Nesbitt, the anti-apartheid and African solidarity movement (part of a broad international mobilization) is a more significant social movement in many respects than the civil rights movement.

Nesbitt is a legend in the Chicago area, across the United States and in southern Africa for his four decades of fighting against racism, white minority rule (apartheid) in South Africa and colonialism in Mozambique. A native of a well-known African American family on Chicago's west side, Nesbitt was the first U.S. exchange student in Tanzania after it achieved independence. According to his website, "It was here that Prexy met the leaders and activists (people like President Julius Nyerere, Eduardo Mondlane and Samora and Graca Machel, Jorge Rebelo, Agostinho Neto, J.B. Marks and O.R. Tambo) committed to freeing Southern African countries like Angola, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe from white supremacist rule."

Nesbitt teaches at Columbia College in Chicago and Kalamazoo College in Michigan, where his courses include "Nelson Mandela and the Anti-Apartheid Movement." He continues to travel through southern Africa, leads educational trips in the region, and visited South Africa in January 2012 for the South African government's official commemoration of the African National Congress (ANC) founding in 1912.

The presentation is sponsored by the Visiting Lectures Committee, Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, Department of History, University Theme Committee, First Year Experience, Black Student Association and Center for Innovation in Teaching and Research.

For more information, contact Peter Cole at or (309) 298-3691.

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