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Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

First Advisor

Cheryl Greenberg


A few passionate students started what would become Trinity’s largest campus movement since the anti-Vietnam War protests in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.[1] When I interviewed former students and professors, their memories of the anti-apartheid era flooded back. Some even recalled these moments as the most pivotal moments in their lives. In this paper, I will retract the claim that no students were involved at this monumental time and prove that Trinity students had always been engaged. In fact, the students of Trinity led the anti-apartheid movement at the college.

John F. Kennedy said “In giving rights to others which belong to them, we give rights to ourselves and our country.”[2] The fight against apartheid in South Africa was part of a global struggle against racism that emerged from the Civil Rights Movement. The students at Trinity fought for change in South Africa and simultaneously looked inward at racism in their own community. The Anti-Apartheid Committee (AAC) at Trinity made a significant contribution to the struggle for freedom and justice not only in South Africa but also in Hartford, Connecticut. The anti-apartheid struggle addressed issues of race in South Africa and structural racism in the United States. The student movement at Trinity was not solely for South Africa, but understanding and identifying Trinity’s relationship with the city of Hartford and transforming the student body. It was this activism that helped improve Trinity’s role in the greater Hartford community and alter the perceptions of students at Trinity.

[1] Barry A. Freedman, “To Learn, To Remember,” Trinity Tripod, 29 April 1986, 7.

[2] Anthony St. Peter, The Greatest Quotations of All-Time (Anthony St. Peter, 2010), 128.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. Accessible to members of the Trinity community only.