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Mon, 11.13.1899

Albert J. Luthuli, South African leader and politician

Albert J. Luthuli

This date celebrates the birth of Albert John Luthuli in 1899. He was a Black South African leader and Nobel recipient.

Born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), the son of well-respected members of the Zulu ethnic group.  Luthuli was educated at the mission school where he later taught. In 1936, he was elected chief of the Zulu Abasemakholweni tribe in Groutville.  Luthuli joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1946 and took an increasingly active role in campaigns to abolish apartheid in South Africa. In 1952, he was removed as chief by the South African government and was forbidden to enter major South African cities and towns for one year.

At that time he was elected president-general of the ANC. Because of his persistent political actions, he was restricted to his farm in Groutville for another two years in 1953, and again for five years in 1959. For his nonviolent resistance to South African apartheid policies, Luthuli was awarded the 1960 Nobel Peace Prize. For years later, the government extended its restrictions against Luthuli for another five years. His autobiography, "Let My People Go," was published in 1962.  He died five years later.

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