David H. Anthony will discuss the life of controversial black activist and intellectual Max Yeargan, from his days as one of the first black YMCA missionaries in South Africa to his later years as an apologist for apartheid.
In his long and fascinating life, black activist and intellectual Max Yergan (1892-1975) traveled on more ground—both literally and figuratively—than any of his impressive contemporaries, which included Adam Clayton Powell, Paul Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, and A. Phillip Randolph. Yergan rose through the ranks of the "colored" work department of the YMCA, and was among the first black YMCA missionaries in South Africa. His exposure to the brutality of colonial white rule in South Africa caused him to veer away from mainstream, liberal civil rights organizations, and, by the mid-1930s, into the orbit of the Communist Party. A mere decade later, Cold War hysteria and intimidation pushed Yergan away from progressive politics and increasingly toward conservatism. In his later years he even became an apologist for apartheid. Drawing on personal interviews and extensive archival research, David H. Anthony has written much more than a biography of this enigmatic leader. In following the winding road of Yergan's life, Anthony offers a tour through the complex and interrelated political and institutional movements that have shaped the history of the black world from the United States to South Africa.
David H. Anthony is Associate Professor at the History Department, University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his research interests include African and African-American history; African and African American linkages; Islamic civilization; African diaspora studies; and world history among others.
Book will be available for purchase and signing.
This lecture is part of the UCLA African Studies Center Book Series. The first talk will be held on Wednesday, January 23, 2008. Gregory Pirio will discuss his book, The African Jihad: Bin Laden's Quest for the Horn of Africa at 12 PM in 10383 Bunche Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Cost: Free and open to the public; parking is available in lot 3 for $8. Pay station parking is also available (check at parking kiosks for info).
Professor Anthony's book will be available for purchase and signing.
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