Edward (Ned) Alpers
Emeritus Professor of History Ed Alpers with colleagues, April 2013. (Photo: UCLA History Department.)

Edward (Ned) Alpers


Ned Alpers is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History. He received his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies and after teaching at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania he joined the faculty at UCLA. His research and writing focus on the political economy of international trade in eastern Africa through the nineteenth century and the western Indian Ocean. He has served as President of the African Studies Association and Chair of its National Program Committee.


Ned Alpers remembers Nelson Mandela

Although Nelson Mandela always reminded us that he was part of a movement, the fact remains that Madiba came to embody the freedom struggle in South Africa, the last bastion of colonial rule on the African continent. For me his life was part of a global struggle to achieve universal human rights, from the United States to Africa. My previous involvement in the Mozambique liberation support movement led naturally to my involvement with the anti-apartheid movement. This commitment included my participation in the UC divestment movement in the late 1980s. At UCLA this movement inspired a remarkable surge of student action and construction of Mandela Village in Schoenberg Quad. Throughout this period of international sanctions, Mandela remained incarcerated. Quite honestly, I never believed that I would witness Mandela’s release from prison only a few years later in 1990. His speech from the balcony of the Cape Town Hall, when he reiterated his riveting statement from the 1964 Rivonia Trial, remains one of the most moving moments of my life. Madiba’s generosity of spirit, great dignity, moral presence, and genuine charm – and allowing for all of his flaws as a human being – reminded me of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.

Interviews by Ned Alpers on Mandela’s passing:

Los Angeles radio: KCRW: http://blogs.kcrw.com/whichwayla/2013/12/californians-remember-south-african-civil-rights-leader-nelson-mandela

Airtalk with Larry Mantle, KPCC: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2013/12/05/34978/special-coverage-a-look-at-nelson-mandela-s-life-a/

1070 KNX: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/12/05/ucla-professors-remember-how-mandela-moved-campuses-to-join-fight-against-apartheid/

LA television: KCBS KCAL 9: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/12/05/ucla-professors-remember-how-mandela-moved-campuses-to-join-fight-against-apartheid/

Gil Gross Talk Show, 910am, San Francisco: http://www.talk910.com/search/Alpers (hour 2) Podcast available from http://tunein.com/topic/?topicId=58545659

Tom Anderson Show, KVNT, Anchorage, AK: http://www.talk910.com/search/Alpers


Published: Monday, December 09, 2013