African People's Organization

Sara Gallin

About the APO

There wasn't any very good organizations that were anti-apartheid for Coloureds. When the SAMA and the AME decided it was time, the APO (African Political or People's Organization) was created. Though the group of members was small, it became extremely influential seeing that all the members were very highly educated. The organization's life span was only 40 years due to having to give into radical leaders, it "shaped black political thought and culture for decades" (APO 1). The organization was a strong believer in restraining from using violence while still trying to get political, social and economic rights for the coloureds. Within two years, it had over 2000 members, a result of great support from many.

One of the strategies of the APO was to try and persuade white liberal groups to vote for and believe in their rights. Many of their protests and nonviolent debates but pressure on these different groups to vote their way. The APO became so powerful that they organized protests and debates nationwide and sent out a whole newspaper every two weeks. Soon, the events started to take a radical turn. Despite this, the APO was able to gain support from most classes of coloureds causing them to have a huge impact on some of the other races even. Even though many of the organizations long out lasted the APO in the fight against the apartheid, this organization in particular set some ground work for others to work off of, making it extremely important.

Primary Source

This is about the development of the African People's Organization (or the African Political Organization). The last picture includes a chart of the occupations of members of the organization and the number of people with that job.


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