"To Mitigate the Harshness: Transnational Legal Efforts in the Fight Against Apartheid" Audio Recording

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Max Yela, Robert Smith, Ewa BarczykRobert Smith, Associate Professor, UWM Department of History, presented the 42nd annual Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture on October 20, 2011 in the fourth floor Conference Center of the Golda Meir Library.

The title of Smith’s lecture was “To Mitigate the Harshness: Transnational Legal Efforts in the Fight Against Apartheid.”

In 1983 an assemblage of civil rights attorneys from the United States developed relationships with black attorneys in South Africa to assist with challenging the legal and political expressions of Apartheid internally, amid global opposition from without.

In doing so, the formulation of the South African-based Black Lawyers Association's Legal Education Centre helped to prepare lawyers for careers post-Apartheid. In fact, many leading jurists of post-Apartheid South Africa were members of the BLA or received training through the Legal Education Centre.

Professor Smith’s talk charted the emergence of these transnational linkages, detailed internal challenges to Apartheid during the 1980s, and highlighted the role of the BLA's trial advocacy program in preparing future leading South African jurists.

In a brief ceremony before the lecture, the 2011 Governor's Award for Archival Achievement was presented, honoring the Libraries digital collection “March On Milwaukee: Civil Rights History Project.”

Above: From left, Max Yela, Head of UWM Libraries Special Collections; Professor Robert Smith; and Ewa Barczyk, Director of UWM Libraries.