SARAP Howard University
South African Research and Archival Project
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Welcome Page

Professor Joseph E. Harris

South African President, Thabo Mbeki, Howard University President, H. Patrick Swygert, and Distinguished Professor Joseph E. Harris
South African President, Thabo Mbeki, Howard University President, H. Patrick Swygert, and Distinguished Professor Joseph E. Harris

Welcome to SARAP, the South African Research and Archival Project, which is designed to identify, locate, inventory and disseminate information pertaining to the involvement of Americans in the liberation struggle of South Africans, especially during the anti-apartheid movement.

In 1995 Howard University awarded an honorary doctorate degree to South African President Nelson Mandela who, in his acceptance speech, invited Howard to become involved in the reconstruction of post-apartheid South Africa.  Thus, in 1996 President H. Patrick Swygert led a delegation of Howard faculty, administrators and trustees to South Africa to explore the potential for collaborative projects with government agencies, universities and other institutions.  After returning from that visit, members of the Howard faculty organized HURSAP, the Howard University Republic of South Africa Project, which in turn led to the organization of SARAP, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In June 2000, President Thabo Mbeki, who succeeded Mandela as South Africa's President, in accepting his honorary degree, presented an Appreciation Plaque to Howard University with the following inscription:

This plaque is given on behalf
of the People of South Africa
by President Thabo M. Mbeki
in honor of the Anti-Apartheid Movement
in The United States of America
23 May 2000

It therefore is appropriate that Howard University, with its long established reputation in African and African American studies, has launched SARAP as a documentation project to identify, locate, inventory and disseminate, oral and visual materials pertaining to South Africa's long struggle for freedom and human rights.  It also is appropriate that this program focus primarily on the African American role in that movement since so many black South Africans studied and taught at Howard University long before blacks were generally accepted in higher education or public service either in the United States or South Africa.

Although the United States and South Africa are the primary focus of this project, the scope extends into southern Africa, where many South Africans migrated, settled, and continued their struggle for freedom.  This project also extends to other parts of Africa as well as to Europe and the Americas, reflecting the global reach of South Africa's freedom struggle.

In order to accomplish its goals, SARAP organizes its work around an interdisciplinary seminar with a research team of advanced doctoral students in African and African American research and who have acquired archival, museum and library skills necessary for the preparation of researcher's guides that appear in print, on CD-ROM, and as a website.  SARAP also involves the participation of researchers from South Africa's University of Fort Hare, which has a Pan-African legacy similar to that of Howard University and also is committed to quality education and human rights.

Joseph E. Harris, Distinguished Professor and Director of SARAP


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Phone: 202-238-2675 - Contacts - WWW Disclaimer
South African Ambassador Sheila Sisulu and
Howard University President H. Patrick Swygert
Mazazi Union of Students in the Americas
(Mazazi - Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
Michael Babatunde Olutunji, Harry Belafonte, and Miriam Makeba
Stewart Hall University of Fort Hare
Congressman Charles Coles Diggs;
Senator (and later President) John F. Kennedy;
Unknown; Dr. John A. Davis of the American Society of African Culture