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During the struggle to end apartheid, Blanche La Guma led a complex and demanding life as a nurse-midwife by day and underground activist within a clandestine Communist cell by night. Harassed, banned, and at one time imprisoned, Blanche worked tirelessly to support her family in Cape Town while providing safe houses for anti-apartheid leaders, such as Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki. Forced into exile in 1966, Blanche continued the fight for justice in London and, later, in Havana, where she mentored hundreds of African National Congress students sent to Cuba after the 1976 Soweto Uprising. This rare firsthand account chronicles Blanche’s life as a South African exile in Fidel Castro’s Cuba, traveling through the Communist world at large, and finally returning to her country with dignity and freedom.
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Blanche La Guma dedicated her life to ending apartheid in South Africa though her various roles as a professional nurse, wife, mother, and underground Communist activist. She is a former deputy representative of The African National Congress. Martin Klammer is a professor of Africana Studies at Luther College. He lives in Decorah, Iowa.
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