Albert Luthuli

By: Caitlin DeWaters

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Life and Accomplishments

Chief Albert Luthuli was an extraordinary man who played a major part in the freedom of South Africans throughout the mid 1900's, including serving as president-general of the ANC for 15 years, and he became the first global icon of the South African liberation movement. Luthuli grew up strictly Christian and was educated in a mission school in his hometown. He carried these religious views with him throughout his life and they were most prominently seen in his on-going fight to get the ANC to remain using nonviolent strategies against the South African government. He was banned many times over the years of his involvement with anti-apartheid movements, and even arrested for his actions. In 1961, Albert Luthuli was recognized for his huge influence and enormous symbolic value to the ANC and was honored the Nobel Peace Prize. After publishing an autobiography, Luthuli was killed in a freak accident in his hometown of Groutville.

Anti-Apartheid Movements

Luthuli began movements against the apartheid government with school boycotts after joining the Natal Native Teachers' Union. After attempting to remain non-radical with his actions, the South African government introduced the Representation of Natives Act in which Blacks were not allowed to vote in the local polls any longer. Luthuli gained a more violent outlook on his country after this, and became the head of many major protests for anti-apartheid, including the Defiance Campaign. He became president-general of the ANC in 1952 and was arrested in 1956 as a defendant in the Treason Trial, but was released due to a lack of evidence for the case. His contribution to the anti-apartheid movement is considered "prodigious", as he remained a symbolic icon of the South African liberation fight all throughout his life.
Albert Luthuli Nobel Peace Prize Archive Footage


  • "Albert Lutuli." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 15 Nov. 2015.
  • The Role and Significance of Key Individuals or Groups. Oxford Text. N.p.: n.p., n.d. N. pag. Print.