Of all the many people who made the publication of Lives of Courage possible, I am, of course, most indebted to the sixty women who agreed to be interviewed for this book. I am still unable to explain how it is that so many women in the embattled South African anti-apartheid movement were willing to open their doors and their hearts to talk to me. I know that part of the answer is that political activists there are so eager to have the real story of their struggle be known in the United States and other countries that they are willing to take the risks involved in speaking out. Answering my questions often meant saying things that are illegal in South Africa—for example, that they approve of sanctions and the withdrawal of foreign business as a strategy to try to bring down the government. While I hope with all my heart that the publication of Lives of Courage will not jeopardize any of them in any way, I know that, if it does, it was but one of the many courageous choices they have made in their lives in order to make a contribution to the liberation struggle.
I am also extremely grateful to Marie Hart for helping me through the many phases of work involved in this project, including agreeing to join me in South Africa and Zambia and assisting me with the work there in whatever way she could. Mostly, this turned out to be taping the interviews, enabling me to concentrate on the interviewing itself. But she also took photographs, participated in the interviews, helped me find obscure addresses, cared for me when I was sick, shared the driving, ran errands, and gave me feedback and moral support. She was my companion through it all—the fun parts and the all too frequent stressful parts.
In my introduction I have tried to convey what it was like to have to conduct this research in secrecy. It was a great luxury to be able to share and discuss the multitude of experiences as they happened with a good friend who traveled with me from Cape Town to Johannesburg, via Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Umtata, and Durban, then on to Zimbabwe, Zambia, and England. And once we were back in the United States, we could talk about and relish our many experiences in Africa in a way possible only with someone who has shared them in person. Marie has also read and commented on drafts of many of these interviews. The fact that she was present during most of them has made her evaluations particularly important to me.
Anne Mayne and Hettie V. (pseudonym) are the two South African women who contributed most to this project. Both of them put me in touch with women political activists and recommended women to interview. Together, they also gave me a crash course on women political activists in South Africa, as well as on the anti-apartheid movement as a whole. Both also helped me in such practical ways as finding transcribers, providing equipment, advising on security issues, finding people with whom Marie and I could stay while traveling through South Africa, and so on. I don't know how we would have managed without them.
Hettie V. also read the entire manuscript to ensure, as far as possible, that the spelling of the names of people, towns, and cities is correct. In addition, she and Sheena Duncan inserted three small villages and twenty-one black townships on the map of South Africa appearing at the beginning of this book, since these proved impossible for the initial U.S. map maker, Vincent Torre, to locate.
My longtime friends Lindy and Francis Wilson and Sean Archer were also extremely helpful in advising me on many issues, suggesting who to interview, discussing with me what should be included in the interviews, listening to me talk about the problems I was encountering, and encouraging me during some low times by reminding me of the importance of this project.
I am grateful to my mother, Molly Russell, for providing home and board for Marie and me for the six-week Cape Town phase of our trip, and to my brother David Russell for the many ways in which he assisted me—most particularly, in my being able to use his name and reputation as an anti-apartheid activist to open many doors for me which might otherwise have remained closed. My sister Jill Hall, who was visiting South Africa during the early, most uncertain stage of my research, was also extremely encouraging at a time when I really needed it.
I am also indebted to the Cape Town attorney Essa Moosa for taking the time to read the entire manuscript, and for his welcome conclusion that it »substantially does not contravene any provisions of the Media Laws and Regulations«, and that he therefore had »no hesitation in recommending the publication of the manuscript without any changes«.[1]
There were so many others who helped me to complete this work that it will be impossible to name them all. And I have deliberately chosen to omit acknowledging those for whom doing so would involve unnecessary risk—for example, those who came out of hiding to talk with me. They will know who they are, and that I appreciate their assistance. Those in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia who can be mentioned include Liz Abrahams, Leah Abramsohn, Margaret Auerbach, Jo Beall, Sally Brazier, Lynn Brown, Sandra Burman, Amina Cachalia, Judy Chalmers, Jacklyn Cock, Josette Cole, Eddie Daniels, Betty and Rodney Davenport, Amina Desai, Jessie Duarte, Andy Durbach, Gertrude Fester, Nyami Goniwe, Mildred Hallow, Karen Hurt, Kathy Jagoe, Leibe Kellen, Soraya Khan, Yashmeen Khan, Ilona Kleinschmidt, Susan Konig, Marian Lacey, Sheila Lapensky, Mildred Lesia, Lydia Levine, Hugh Lewin, Rozena Maart, Ann McCay, Tessa Marcus, Shamim Mare, Fatima Meer, Zora Mehlomakulu, June Mlangeni, Shirley Moulder, Thoko Mpumlwana, Phyllis Naidoo, Herscheler Narsee, Nomzi No-tununu, Phumelele Ntombela, Regina Ntongana, Nozizwe Nyakaza, Rosalie Patterson, Jean Pease, Lillian Peters, Vicki Quinlin, Mamphela Ramphele, Carmel Rickard, Liz Rider, Rory Riorden, Denise Rudolph, Dorothea Russell, Kathleen Satchwell, Thabi Shange, Gertrude Shope, Mary Simons, Sandy Stewart, Sheelagh Stewart, Ginny Volbrecht, Cherryl Walker, and Mama Zihlangu.
People in England and the United States who helped me in significant ways include Sandy Boucher, Barry Fineberg, Louis Friedberg, Frene Ginwala, Pippa Green, Eleanor Khanyile, Mary King, Nona Kirk, Margaret Legum, David Mermelstein, Mary Orman, Stephanie Sachs, Adelaide Tambo, Stephanie Urdang, Randolph Vigne, Candy Wright, and Wendy Woods.
I also want to thank publicly my closest friends who gave me the encouragement and moral support, and sometimes editorial advice, which I sorely needed in order to get through the periods of doubt and frustration during the long months of isolated editing and writing involved in this task: Joan Baiter, Sandra Butler, Kenneth Carstens, Marny Hall, Marie Hart, Nancy Howell, and Mary el Norris. Sandra Butler also offered excellent and extensive editorial advice on more than one draft of the entire manuscript, and patiently went over it all with me, despite my resistance. I am extremely grateful to her for the generous donation of her skills to this project. And Kenneth Cars tens assisted me greatly by correcting and adding to the chronology and glossary, commenting on selected chapters of the book, and advising me on certain political and publicity issues.
Others who assisted with the editing task include Barbara Austin, Jane Futcher, Grace Harwood, Annie Stenzel, Laura Tow, and the students in my class on »Contemporary Social Movements" at Mills College who were assigned to read a draft of the entire manuscript. The suggestions of Candida Ellis were particularly helpful. And Jan Dennie did her usual expert job of transcription and word processing of many drafts of this work.
Last but not least, I wish to thank my agent, Frances Goldin; Cheryl Friedman, coordinator of all work on Lives of Courage in the last several months of book production; and my two editors at Basic Books, Jo Ann Miller and Phoebe Hoss, both of whose editorial suggestions greatly improved this book, particularly its accessibility to an American and wider international audience.