“ANC. African National Congress, party formed in 1912 at Bloemfontein to protect the interests of black people in South Africa. It developed from the Native Education Association formed in 1882 in Cape Colony. In 1926 it decided to work for a democratic and racially integrated South Africa. It pursued non-violent tactics and many young Africans left it because of its lack of militancy. The South African government made it illegal in 1961. In the same year the ANC’s leader, Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), was tried for treason and acquitted. He was however, subsequently convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment. Despite Mandela’s continuing detention, he remained the most potent symbol of the anti-apartheid movement and the ANC is still widely recognized—even by many white South Africans—as the most formidable champion of black rights.”
Excerpted from: Cook, Chris. Dictionary of Historical Terms. New York: Gramercy, 1998.