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Prexy Nesbitt

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Information about Prexy Nesbitt

Profile image of Prexy Nesbitt

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Africana Studies Instructor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Egg Foo Young
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Francisco, California
Favorite Quote:
A Luta Continua, or: The Struggle Continues.

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1944
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Africana Studies Instructor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green
Favorite Food:
Egg Foo Young
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
San Francisco, California
Favorite Quote:
A Luta Continua, or: The Struggle Continues.

Birthplace

Born:
2/23/1944
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Prexy Nesbitt is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Rozell “Prexy” Nesbitt was born and raised on Chicago’s West Side. After graduating from the Francis Parker School in Chicago, Nesbitt enrolled at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. After graduating from Antioch in 1967, Nesbitt continued his education, attending the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania; Northwestern University; and Columbia University.

Even before completing his Ph.D. in 1975, Nesbitt was highly active in labor and equality movements; by 1976, he had become the national coordinator and field organizer for the Bank Withdrawal Campaign for the American Committee on Africa. Two years later Nesbitt was named the director of the Africa Project at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In 1979, Nesbitt became the program director and secretary for research at the World Council of Churches, based in Geneva, Switzerland. Nesbitt returned to Chicago in 1984, where he continued his work as a labor organizer. In 1986, Chicago mayor Harold Washington named Nesbitt as a special assistant. The following year, the government of Mozambique appointed Nesbitt to serve as a consultant to help them represent their interests to the United States, Canada, and Europe; he remained in this post until 1992.

In 1990, Nesbitt took a post as a lecturer with the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, and in 1993, became the senior program officer with the Program on Peace & International Cooperation with the MacArthur Foundation. Nesbitt remained with the MacArthur Foundation until 1996, when he was named the dean of community engagement and diversity. In addition to his foundation work, Nesbitt worked as an African and American history teacher at his high school alma mater, Francis W. Parker School. Nesbitt also taught African History at Columbia College, and served as a consultant on diversity for the Francis W. Parker School; the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools; and the East Educational Collaborative in Washington, DC. In 2001, Nesbitt became the South African representative of the American Center for International Labor Solidarity in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the interim director for the American Friends Service Committee Africa Program. From 2003 on, Nesbitt worked as the Senior Multiculturalism and Diversity Specialist for the Chicago Teachers Center at Northeastern Illinois University.

Nesbitt has lectured both in the United States and abroad, and has written extensively, publishing a book and articles in more than twenty international journals. Nesbitt also served as a co-writer on the BBC production of The People’s Century program Skin Deep, about racism in the United States and South Africa. Over the course of his career, Nesbitt made more than seventy trips to Africa, including trips taken in secret to apartheid torn South Africa; his work has garnered him numerous awards throughout his career.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Prexy Nesbitt's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt talks about his mother's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his father and paternal uncle's experiences in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his father and paternal uncles' activism in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls African American aldermen in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Prexy Nesbitt explains the origin of his last name
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Prexy Nesbitt remembers his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Prexy Nesbitt explains his uncles' Garveyite influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt remembers his family farm in southwestern Michigan
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls transferring from Pope Elementary School to Francis W. Parker School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the life and death of his sister
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his family's relationship with famous poets and singers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls Chicago's Warren Avenue Congregational Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt describes community activism at Warren Avenue Congregational Church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt explains Warren Avenue Congregational Church's connection to Tanzania
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Prexy Nesbitt talks about his family's connections to Negro League baseball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his experience as a redcap in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his experience as a redcap in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt describes differences between Chicago's West Side and South Side
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his childhood activities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls experiencing racial prejudice in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt considers the history of Chicago's racial boundaries
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt compares racism in Chicago with African apartheid regimes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt describes Chicago's Francis W. Parker School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his activities at Francis W. Parker School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Prexy Nesbitt's interview, session 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on his football career at Chicago's Francis W. Parker School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt describes how he became interested in Africa
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his choice to attend Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt describes civil rights activism at Antioch College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the growth of the African American community at Antioch College in the 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his experience at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt describes Dar es Salaam, Tanzania during the 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt describes African liberation movements in Tanzania in the 1960s and 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt describes political leaders who resided in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt describes Julius Nyerere's political movement
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his first jobs after graduating from Antioch College
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt describes working in the U. for the African liberation movement
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt describes CIA support for Unita, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt describes CIA support for Unita, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on the reception of authoritarian leaders in the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects upon the African American community's understanding of Africa
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his efforts to support African liberation during the 1970s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls organizing against apartheid in South Africa
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls developing anti-apartheid sanctions at the World Council of Churches
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls sneaking into apartheid South Africa
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls teaching organizing in South Africa during the 1980s
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects upon the liberation of South Africa
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls tragic deaths during the African liberation movement
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Prexy Nesbitt's interview, session 3
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls the Sixth Pan-African Congress in 1974
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt describes differences between African liberation groups in the mid-1970s
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls the start of the Angolan Civil War in 1975
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on the deaths of major black civil rights leaders
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt describes U.S. government surveillance of black civil rights leaders
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt describes government pressure on the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Prexy Nesbitt describes fighting apartheid in South Africa in the late 1970s
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt describes working for South African liberation at the Institute for Policy Studies
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his opposition to Leon Sullivan
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his tenure at the World Council of Churches
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt recalls controversy over religious organizations' political stances
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt considers the connection between local and international activism
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the legacy of Amilcar Cabral
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his work for President Joaquim Chissano in Mozambique
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Prexy Nesbitt describes U.S. support of Portuguese colonial rule in Mozambique
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the history of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt describes U.S. intelligence operations in the African liberation movement
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the South African liberation movement in the 1980s
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the Mozambican Civil War
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the training of child soldiers in African civil wars
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the challenges faced by South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt describes the aims of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on the diverse membership of the African National Congress
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on the life of Winnie Mandela
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt considers the distribution of land in Africa
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt describes mismanagement in Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on the challenges faced by present-day Africa
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on African Americans' views of Africa
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects on the meaning of Africa for African Americans
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Prexy Nesbitt reflects upon his role models in his family and the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Prexy Nesbitt describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Prexy Nesbitt narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Prexy Nesbitt narrates his photographs, pt. 2