“We Keep Homes & Fires”: Winnie Madikizela Mandela and Coretta Scott King’s Political Activism and Transnational Solidarity
Dr. Tshepo Masango Chéry is a South African scholar specializing in African history, with a focus on racial formation, radical politics, and religious expression. Her talk begins with the 1986 meeting of Winnie Madikizela Mandela and Coretta Scott King in Soweto, South Africa. Both women’s political work stands on its own and apart from their husbands, world-renowned freedom fighters Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.—two profoundly influential men operating in different spheres of the world.
The women’s seemingly parallel lives were marked by the loss of their husbands, which enabled both women to envision and craft their own political trajectory amid a rise in Black women’s activism. In the late 1980s, Coretta Scott King planned a trip to South Africa in hopes of influencing anti-apartheid strategies toward nonviolence. The trip and the exchange between Madikizela Mandela and Scott King forged a unique solidarity in the intimacy of a home but also brought into sharp relief the shared global experience of Black women’s oppression and activism. Join us for this illuminating discussion!
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