Thursday, March 30, 2017

A00695 - James Cotton, Blues Harmonica Player

James Henry Cotton (July 1, 1935 – March 16, 2017)[1] was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, who performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists of his time and with his own band. He played drums early in his career but is famous for his harmonica playing.
Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s.[3] He made his first recordings in Memphis for Sun Records, under the direction of Sam Phillips. In 1955, he was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join his band. Cotton became Muddy's bandleader and stayed with the group until 1965.[4] In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with the Muddy Waters band. He eventually left to form his own full-time touring group. His first full album, on Verve Records, was produced by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist and songwriter Nick Gravenites, who later were members of the band Electric Flag.[5]
In the 1970s, Cotton played harmonica on Muddy Waters' Grammy Award–winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter.

Career[edit]

Born in Tunica, Mississippi, Cotton became interested in music when he first heard Sonny Boy Williamson II on the radio. He left home with his uncle and moved to West Helena, Arkansas, finding Williamson there. For many years Cotton claimed that he told Williamson that he was an orphan and that Williamson took him in and raised him, a story he admitted in recent years is not true. However, Williamson did mentor Cotton during his early years.[3] Williamson left the South to live with his estranged wife in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, leaving his band in Cotton's hands. Cotton was quoted as saying, "He just gave it to me. But I couldn't hold it together 'cause I was too young and crazy in those days an' everybody in the band was grown men, so much older than me."[citation needed]

Cotton performing in 2008
Cotton played drums early in his career but is famous for his harmonica playing. He began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s.[3] He made his first recordings as a solo artist for Sun Records in Memphis in 1953.[3] In 1954, he recorded an electric blues single "Cotton Crop Blues", which featured a heavily distorted power chord–driven electric guitar solo by Pat Hare.[6] Cotton began working with the Muddy Waters Band around 1955.[3] He performed songs such as "Got My Mojo Working" and "She's Nineteen Years Old", although he did not play on the original recordings; Little Walter, Waters's long-time harmonica player, played for most of Waters's recording sessions in the 1950s. Cotton's first recording session with Waters took place in June 1957, and he alternated with Little Walter on Waters's recording sessions until the end of the decade.
In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with Waters's band. Their performances were captured by producer Samuel Charters on volume two of the Vanguard recording Chicago/The Blues/Today! After leaving Waters's band in 1966, Cotton toured with Janis Joplin while pursuing a solo career.[3] He formed the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967. The band mainly performed its own arrangements of popular blues and R&B from the 1950s and 1960s. Cotton's band included a horn section, like that of Bobby Bland's. After Bland's death, his son told news media that Bland had recently discovered that Cotton was his half-brother.[7]

Cotton at Jeff Healey's blues nightclub in Toronto
In the 1970s, Cotton recorded several albums for Buddah Records. He played harmonica on Waters's Grammy Award–winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter. In the 1980s he recorded for Alligator Records in Chicago; he rejoined the Alligator roster in 2010.[8] The James Cotton Blues Band received a Grammy nomination in 1984 for Live from Chicago: Mr. Superharp Himself!, on Alligator, and a second for his 1987 album Take Me Back, on Blind Pig Records. He was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album for Deep in the Blues in 1996.[9] Cotton appeared on the cover of the July–August 1987 issue of Living Blues magazine (number 76).[10] He was featured in the same publication's 40th anniversary issue of August–September 2010.
In 2006, Cotton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at a ceremony conducted by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. He has won or shared ten Blues Music Awards.[11]
Cotton battled throat cancer in the mid-1990s, but he continued to tour, using singers or his backing band members as vocalists. On March 10, 2008, Cotton and Ben Harper performed at the induction of Little Walter into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, playing "Juke" and "My Babe" together; the induction ceremony was broadcast nationwide on VH1 Classic. On August 30, 2010, Cotton was the special guest on Larry Monroe's farewell broadcast of Blue Monday, which he hosted on KUT in Austin, Texas, for nearly 30 years.[12]
Cotton's studio album Giant, released by Alligator Records in late September 2010, was nominated for a Grammy Award.[13] His album Cotton Mouth Man, also on Alligator, released on May 7, 2013, was also a Grammy nominee.[14] It includes guest appearances by Gregg AllmanJoe BonamassaRuthie FosterDelbert McClintonWarren HaynesKeb MoChuck Leavell and Colin Linden.[15] Cotton played harmonica on "Matches Don't Burn Memories" on the debut album by the Dr. Izzy Band, Blind & Blues Bound, released in June 2013.[16] In 2014, Cotton won a Blues Music Award for Traditional Male Blues Artist and was also nominated in the category Best Instrumentalist – Harmonica.[17]
Cotton's touring band includes guitarist and vocalist Tom Holland, vocalist Darrell Nulisch, bassist Noel Neal (brother of the blues guitarist and harmonica player Kenny Neal) and drummer Jerry Porter.

Death[edit]

Cotton died at a medical center in Austin, Texas from pneumonia on March 16, 2017 at the age of 81.[18]

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*James Cotton, a blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter who performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists of his time, was born in Tunica, Mississippi (July 1),

James Henry Cotton (b. July 1, 1935, Tunica, Mississippi – d. March 16, 2017, Austin, Texas) played drums early in his career but is most famous for his harmonica playing.
Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings in Memphis for Sun Records, under the direction of Sam Phillips. In 1955, he was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join his band. Cotton became Muddy's bandleader and stayed with the group until 1965. In 1965, he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with the Muddy Waters band. He eventually left to form his own full-time touring group. His first full album, on Verve Records, was produced by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist and songwriter Nick Gravenites, who later were members of the band Electric Flag. 
In the 1970s, Cotton played harmonica on Muddy Waters' Grammy Award winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter.
Born in Tunica, Mississippi, Cotton became interested in music when he first heard Sonny Boy Williamson II on the radio. He left home with his uncle and moved to West Helena, Arkansas,  finding Williamson there. For many years Cotton claimed that he told Williamson that he was an orphan and that Williamson took him in and raised him, a story he admitted in later years was not true. However, Williamson did mentor Cotton during his early years. Williamson left the South to live with his estranged wife in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, leaving his band in Cotton's hands. Cotton was quoted as saying, "He just gave it to me. But I couldn't hold it together 'cause I was too young and crazy in those days an' everybody in the band was grown men, so much older than me."
Cotton played drums early in his career but is famous for his harmonica playing. He began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings as a solo artist for Sun Records in Memphis in 1953. In 1954, he recorded an electric blues single "Cotton Crop Blues", which featured a heavily distorted power chord-driven electric guitar solo by Pat Hare.  Cotton began working with the Muddy Waters Band around 1955. He performed songs such as "Got My Mojo Working" and "She's Nineteen Years Old", although he did not play on the original recordings; Little Walter, Waters' long-time harmonica player, played for most of Waters' recording sessions in the 1950s. Cotton's first recording session with Waters took place in June 1957, and he alternated with Little Walter on Waters' recording sessions until the end of the decade.
In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with Waters's band. Their performances were captured by producer Samuel Charters on volume two of the Vanguard recording Chicago/The Blues/Today! After leaving Waters's band in 1966, Cotton toured with Janis Joplin while pursuing a solo career. He formed the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967. The band mainly performed its own arrangements of popular blues and R&B from the 1950s and 1960s. Cotton's band included a horn section, like that of Bobby Bland's. After Bland's death, his son told news media that Bland had recently discovered that Cotton was his half-brother.
In the 1970s, Cotton recorded several albums for Buddah Records. He played harmonica on Waters' Grammy Award winning 1977 Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter.  In the 1980s he recorded for Alligator Records in Chicago and he rejoined the Alligator roster in 2010. The James Cotton Blues Band received a Grammy nomination in 1984 for Live from Chicago: Mr. Superharp Himself!, on Alligator, and a second for his 1987 album Take Me Back, on Blind Pig Records. He was awarded a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album for Deep in the Blues in 1996. Cotton appeared on the cover of the July–August 1987 issue of Living Blues magazine (number 76). He was featured in the same publication's 40th anniversary issue of August–September 2010.
In 2006, Cotton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame at a ceremony conducted by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. He won or shared ten Blues Music Awards.
Cotton battled throat cancer in the mid-1990s, but he continued to tour, using singers or his backing band members as vocalists. On March 10, 2008, Cotton and Ben Harper performed at the induction of Little Walter into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, playing "Juke" and "My Babe" together.  The induction ceremony was broadcast nationwide on VH1 Classic.  On August 30, 2010, Cotton was the special guest on Larry Monroe's farewell broadcast of Blue Monday, which he hosted on KUT in Austin, Texas, for nearly 30 years.
Cotton's studio album Giant, released by Alligator Records in late September 2010, was nominated for a Grammy Award. His album Cotton Mouth Man, also on Alligator, released on May 7, 2013, was also a Grammy nominee.  It includes guest appearances by Gregg Allman, Joe Bonamassa, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton, Warren Haynes, Keb Mo, Chuck Leavell and Colin Linden.  Cotton played harmonica on "Matches Don't Burn Memories" on the debut album by the Dr. Izzy Band, Blind & Blues Bound, released in June 2013. In 2014, Cotton won a Blues Music Award  for Traditional Male Blues Artist and was also nominated in the category Best Instrumentalist – Harmonica.
Cotton died at a medical center in Austin, Texas, from pneumonia on March 16, 2017 at the age of 81.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A00694 - Roger Wilkins, Civil Rights Activist

Roger Wilkins (March 25, 1932 – March 26, 2017) was an African-American civil rights leader, professor of history, and journalist.

Biography[edit]

Wilkins was born in Kansas CityMissouri, on March 25, 1932,[1] and grew up in Michigan. He was educated at Crispus Attucks Elementary School[2] in Kansas City, Missouri, then Creston High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wilkins received his undergraduate degree in 1953 and LL.B. in 1956 both from the University of Michigan, where he interned with the NAACP and was a member of the senior leadership society, Michigamua.[3]

Career[edit]

Wilkins worked as a welfare lawyer in Ohio before becoming an Assistant Attorney General in President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration at age 33, one of the highest-ranking blacks ever to serve in the executive branch up to that time.
Roger Wilkins was sworn in as Director of Community Relations Service on Friday 4 February 1966 in a ceremony at The White House as per page 2 of President Johnson's Diary for that day.[4]
Leaving government in 1969 at the end of the Johnson administration, he worked briefly for the Ford Foundation before joining the editorial staff of the Washington Post.
Along with Carl BernsteinHerbert Block ("Herblock"), and Bob Woodward, Wilkins earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for exposing the Watergate scandal that eventually forced President Richard Nixon's resignation from office. He left the Post in 1974 to work for the New York Times, followed five years later by a brief stay at the now-defunct Washington Star. In 1980 he became a radio news commentator, working for National Public Radio (NPR).
Wilkins was the Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia until his retirement in 2007. During his tenure at George Mason, Wilkins was, arguably, one of the most preeminent professors in residence at that time. Wilkins was also the publisher of the NAACP's journal, The Crisis, and was the nephew of Roy Wilkins, a past executive director of the NAACP.
Wilkins resided in Washington, D.C., and was married to Patricia King, Professor of Law at Georgetown University.
Wilkins died on March 26, 2017 in Kensington, Maryland from complications of dementia, at the age of 85.[5]

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*Roger Wilkins, a civil rights leader, professor of history and journalist, was born in Kansas City, Missouri (March 25).

Roger Wilkins (b. March 25, 1932, Kansas City, Missouri – d. March 26, 2017, Kensington, Maryland) grew up in Michigan. He was educated at Crispus Attucks Elementary School in Kansas City, Missouri, then Creston High School in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wilkins received his undergraduate degree in 1953 and LL.B. in 1956 both from the University of Michigan,  where he interned with the NAACP and was a member of the senior leadership society, Michigamua.
Wilkins worked as a welfare lawyer in Ohio before becoming an Assistant Attorney General in President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration at age 33, one of the highest-ranking blacks ever to serve in the executive branch up to that time.
Roger Wilkins was sworn in as Director of the Community Relations Service on February 4, 1966 in a ceremony at the White House.
Leaving government in 1969 at the end of the Johnson administration, he worked briefly for the Ford Foundation before joining the editorial staff of the Washington Post.
Along with Carl Bernstein, Herbert Block ("Herblock"), and Bob Woodward,  Wilkins earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for exposing the Watergate scandal that eventually forced President Richard Nixon's resignation from office. He left the Post in 1974 to work for the New York Times, followed five years later by a brief stay at the now-defunct Washington Star.  In 1980, he became a radio news commentator, working for National Public Radio (NPR).
Wilkins was the Robinson Professor of History and American Culture at George Maxon University in Fairfax, Virginia,  until his retirement in 2007.  Wilkins was also the publisher of the NAACP's journal, The Crisis, and was the nephew of Roy Wilkins, a past executive director of the NAACP.
Wilkins resided in Washington, D.C., and was married to Patricia King, Professor of Law at Georgetown University.
Wilkins died on March 26, 2017 in Kensington, Maryland from complications of dementia.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A00693 - Don Hunstein, Photographer of Great Musicians

Don Hunstein (1928 – 18 March 2017) was an American photographer.
Glenn Gould, photographed by Don Hunstein
He studied at Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 1950. Later he served in the United States Air Force in England. He returned to the United States in 1954 and settled in New York City. In 1955, Hunstein started working for Columbia Records.[1] He remained there until 1986.[2] Some of his photographs were published in 2013 book Keeping Time: The Photographs of Don Hunstein.[3] One of his best-known images is of Bob Dylan walking with Suze Rotolo: it was used for the cover of Dylan's album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan.[4]
He died on 18 March 2017 at the age of 88.[5]

A00692 - Ahmed Kathrada, South African Anti-Apartheid Activist






Photo

Ahmed Kathrada, right, with former President Nelson Mandela and his daughter Zindzi Mandela in Johannesburg in 2010. CreditDebbie Yazbek/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ahmed Kathrada, who spent 26 years in prison, many of them alongside his close friend Nelson Mandela, for resisting the apartheid system of white minority rule in South Africa, died on Tuesday in Johannesburg. He was 87.
The death was announced by Mr. Kathrada’s foundation. He had been hospitalized this month with a blood clot in his brain.
President Jacob Zuma ordered flags to be displayed at half-staff and said that Mr. Kathrada would receive a “special official funeral.” Mr. Zuma’s office called Mr. Kathrada a “stalwart of the liberation struggle for a free and democratic South Africa.”
Born to an Indian Muslim family, Mr. Kathrada was the most prominent Asian South African in the movement to end apartheid, the system of racial segregation and white domination.
Continue reading the main story
Active in leftist politics since his teenage years, he came to prominence in July 1963, when he was arrested with other anti-apartheid activists in Rivonia, a northern suburb of Johannesburg, where the South African Communist Party and the armed wing of the outlawed African National Congress had purchased an isolated farm to use as a meeting place. Among the others arrested was Walter Sisulu, secretary general of the A.N.C.
That October, Mr. Kathrada was indicted on charges of trying to overthrow the government, start a guerrilla war and open the door to invasion by foreign powers. Mr. Sisulu was also indicted, as was Mr. Mandela, who had been in prison since 1962, but who faced new charges after the authorities found documents at the Rivonia farm linking him to the A.N.C.’s armed wing.
The Rivonia trial, which began in April 1964, became a signature moment in the struggle against apartheid. A high point came when Mr. Mandela, in a three-hour speech, told the judge that he was “prepared to die” for “the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.”
Eight defendants — including Mr. Mandela, Mr. Sisulu and Mr. Kathrada — were convicted on June 11, 1964, of plotting a “violent revolution.” They were sentenced to life in prison, at hard labor.
Mr. Kathrada spent 26 years and 3 months behind bars, 18 of them on Robben Island, the apartheid regime’s most notorious prison.
Confinement was something of an education: he and his fellow prisoners deepened their conviction that only continued pressure, at home and abroad, would help bring about an end to apartheid.


Photo

Mr. Kathrada guided President Barack Obama on a tour of Robben Island in 2013. “They did everything to crush our morale,” Mr. Kathrada said about the treatment of prisoners during his incarceration.CreditMadelene Cronje/Mail and Guardian, via European Pressphoto Agency

“It really confirmed our belief that the South African authorities do not suddenly undergo a change of heart,” Mr. Kathrada said in 1989.
He and his compatriots had suspected that they would be arrested, he said, and had prepared psychologically. They understood, he said, that the isolation of Robben Island — in cold, shark-infested Atlantic waters off Cape Town — was intended to break them.
“From the security police to the prison authorities, they tried to instill into our minds that we would be forgotten in a few years’ time,” Mr. Kathrada said. “They did everything to crush our morale.”
For the first six months, he said, the prisoners were put to work breaking stones with hammers. Then they were sent to work in the prison’s lime quarry for more than a decade. At one point, he said, Mr. Mandela and Mr. Sisulu were put on a meager ration of rice gruel as punishment for supposedly not working hard enough.
Mr. Kathrada said that on arriving at the prison he and the mixed-race convicts were issued long trousers, while black convicts like Mr. Mandela and Mr. Sisulu had to wear shorts without socks. Even sugar, coffee, soup and other foods were apportioned to inmates according to lines of racial hierarchy.
Mixed-race convicts were also spared the brutality that was inflicted on less prominent prisoners, Mr. Kathrada said, though they were hardly exempt from mistreatment.
He recalled one night when the guards, “many of them very drunk,” awakened the convicts, stripped them and forced them against a wall for a rough search. One inmate, Govan Mbeki, nearly suffered a heart attack, he said. (Mr. Mbeki was released in 1987.)
The guards’ attempt to humiliate them only stiffened their defiance, Mr. Kathrada said.
“Because we were so close to the oppressor, it helped to keep us united,” he said. They went on hunger strikes to force concessions.
They tried to keep up with events outside by talking to new prisoners, reading smuggled letters and “begging, stealing and bribing” to procure information.
“Political prisoners give top priority to keeping themselves informed,” Mr. Kathrada said, but they sometimes went without news for several months. They communicated sporadically with the A.N.C. through messages passed among other inmates.



Video

Remembering Robben Island

Ahmed Kathrada recalls his time in prison on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela.
By Marcus Mabry, Dave Mayers and Elaisha Stokes on Publish DateJuly 6, 2013. Photo by Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

“In prison, the best comes out and the worst comes out as well, because of the deprivation and suffering,” he said.
In 1982, Mr. Kathrada, Mr. Mandela, Mr. Sisulu and two fellow activists were transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, in the Cape Town suburb of Tokai. While in prison, Mr. Kathrada obtained four university degrees, two in history and two in African politics.
He was 60 when he was freed, in October 1989.
On his release, he left no doubt that his dedication to the African National Congress had not waned. “We will carry out whatever the A.N.C. wants us to
“In prison, the best comes out and the worst comes out as well, because of the deprivation and suffering,” he said.
In 1982, Mr. Kathrada, Mr. Mandela, Mr. Sisulu and two fellow activists were transferred to Pollsmoor Prison, in the Cape Town suburb of Tokai. While in prison, Mr. Kathrada obtained four university degrees, two in history and two in African politics.
He was 60 when he was freed, in October 1989.
On his release, he left no doubt that his dedication to the African National Congress had not waned. “We will carry out whatever the A.N.C. wants us to do,” he said at the time.
Mr. Kathrada later became a member of Parliament. He wrote several books. He gave tours of Robben Island, to Margaret Thatcher, Fidel Castro, Jane Fonda, BeyoncĂ© and, twice, to Barack Obama — in 2006, when he was a senator and again in 2013, during Mr. Obama’s presidency.
Though Mr. Kathrada remained loyal to the A.N.C. — he served on the party’s National Executive Committee and ran its public relations department — in recent years he criticized the scandal-plagued Mr. Zuma, who has been in office since 2009.
Last April, Mr. Kathrada called on Mr. Zuma to resign, after the country’s highest court found that the South African president had violated his oath of office by refusing to pay back public money spent on renovations to his rural home.
Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada was born on Aug. 21, 1929, in Schweizer-Reneke, a small town in northern South Africa, the son of Muslim emigrants from Gujarat in western India. He was introduced to politics when, as a child, he joined a club run by the Youth Communist League. At 17 he took part in what was called a “passive resistance campaign” organized by the South African Indian Congress, and was one of 2,000 people arrested on the charge of defying a law that discriminated against Indians.
Shortly afterward, he quit school. Selected to visit East Berlin in 1951 for a youth festival, he toured Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp in Poland, before returning to South Africa. In the 1950s he was arrested several times and monitored by the authorities for his political activities.
Mr. Kathrada, who once said that his being denied the ability to have children was “the greatest deprivation” he endured in prison, is survived by his longtime partner, Barbara Hogan, a white anti-apartheid activist who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1982 for treason. She became a government minister after the fall of apartheid in the early 1990s.
In a 2013 interview, Mr. Kathrada said that he and his fellow prisoners had had it better than those on the outside.
“No policeman could come to Robben Island and start shooting at us,” he said. “In the Soweto uprising of 1976, we are told, 600 kids were killed. Others, people we knew closely, tortured to death, shot, assassinated. We were safe.”
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Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada (21 August 1929 – 28 March 2017), sometimes known by the nickname "Kathy", was a South African politician, former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist.
Kathrada's involvement in the anti-apartheid activities of the African National Congress (ANC) led him to his long-term imprisonment following the Rivonia Trial, in which he was held at Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison. Following his release in 1990, he was elected to serve as a member of parliament, representing the ANC. He has authored a book, No Bread for Mandela- Memoirs of Ahmed Kathrada, Prisoner No. 468/64.

Early life[edit]

Kathrada was born in the small country town of Schweizer-Reneke in the Western Transvaal,[1] the fourth of six children in a Gujarati Bohra family of South African Indian immigrant parents from SuratGujarat.[2]
Owing to his Indian origin and the policies of the time, he could not be admitted to any of the "European" or "African" schools in the area and thus he had to move to Johannesburg, 200 miles to the east, to be educated.[3][4] Once in Johannesburg, he was influenced by leaders of the Transvaal Indian Congress such as Dr. Yusuf Dadoo, IC Meer, Moulvi and Yusuf Cachalia, and JN Singh.[1] Consequently, he became a political activist at the early age of 12 when he joined the Young Communist League of South Africa..[3] He took part in various activities such as handing out leaflets[4] and performing volunteer work in the individual passive resistance against the Pegging Act in 1941. During World War II, he was involved in the anti-war campaign of the Non-European United Front.[5]

Political activist[edit]

At the age of 17 he left school to work full-time for the Transvaal Passive Resistance Council in order to work against the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act, commonly referred to as the "Ghetto Act", which sought to give Indians limited political representation and defined the areas where Indians could live, trade and own land.
Kathrada was one of the two thousand volunteers imprisoned as a result of the campaign; he spent a month in a Durban jail.[1] This was his first jail sentence for civil disobedience. Reportedly, he gave an incorrect age to the police so that he would not be treated as a juvenile, but sent to an adult prison instead. Later, he was elected as secretary-general of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress.
While Kathrada was a student at the University of the Witwatersrand he was sent as a delegate of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress to the 3rd World Festival of Youth and Students in East Berlin in 1951.[6] He was elected as the leader of the large multi-racial South African delegation. He remained in Europe in order to attend a congress of the International Union of Students in Warsaw, and finally travelled to Budapest and worked at the headquarters of the World Federation of Democratic Youth for nine months.
As result of the growing co-operation between the African and Indian Congresses in the 1950s, Kathrada came into close contact with African National Congress leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu he was one of 156 accused in the four-year Treason Trial which lasted from 1956 to 1960. Eventually, all of the accused were found not guilty.
After the ANC and various other anti-apartheid organisations were banned in 1960, Kathrada continued his political activities despite repeated detentions and increasingly severe house arrest measures against him. In order to be free to continue his activities, Kathrada went underground early in 1963.

Rivonia trial[edit]

On 11 July 1963, Kathrada was arrested at the South African internal headquarters of Umkhonto we Sizwe ("The Spear of the Nation" - the military wing of the ANC) in Rivonia, near Johannesburg. Although Kathrada was not a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, he became one of the accused in the famous Rivonia Trial, which started in October 1963. He was charged with sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government by violent means.
The trial ended in June 1964; Kathrada was sentenced to life imprisonment along with Nelson MandelaWalter SisuluGovan MbekiAndrew MlangeniBilly NairElias MotsoalediRaymond Mhlaba and Denis Goldberg.

Imprisonment[edit]

For the following 18 years, Kathrada was confined to the Robben Island Maximum Security Prison along with most of his Rivonia Trial "colleagues". In October 1982, he was moved to Pollsmoor Maximum Prison near Cape Town to join others such as Mandela, Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni who had been moved there a few months before.
While in jail on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor, Kathrada completed Bachelor's degrees in History/Criminology and Bibliography as well as Honours degrees in History and African Politics through the University of South Africa. (The prison authorities refused to allow him or the other prisoners to pursue postgraduate studies.)
On 15 October 1989 Kathrada, along with Jeff Masemola, Raymond MhlabaBilly Nair, Wilton Mkwayi, Andrew MlangeniElias MotsoalediOscar Mpetha, and Walter Sisulu were released from Johannesburg prison.[7]

Activities after release[edit]

After the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, Kathrada served on the interim leadership committees of both the ANC and the South African Communist Party. He resigned from the latter position when he was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee in July 1991. During the same year, he was appointed as head of ANC public relations as well as a fellow of the University of the Western Cape's Mayibuye Centre.
Kathrada went on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 1992.
In the first all-inclusive democratic South African elections in 1994, Kathrada was elected as a member of parliament for the ANC; in September 1994 he was appointed as the political advisor to President Mandela in the newly created post of Parliamentary Counsellor. In June 1999, Kathrada left parliamentary politics.
In 1994 and 1995, Kathrada was elected as chairperson of the Robben Island Council. He remained the chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council. On 27 October 2013, on the island, he launched the International Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouthi and All Palestinian Prisoners.[8]
Kathrada's life partner was Barbara Hogan, a recent Minister of Public Enterprises.

Death[edit]

Kathrada died at a medical center in Johannesburg from complications of a cerebral embolism on 28 March 2017, aged 87.[9][10]

Honours and awards[edit]

In addition to receiving the Isitwalandwe Award (the ANC’s highest possible accolade) whilst still in prison, Kathrada has also been awarded four Honorary Doctorates, including the University of MissouriMichigan State University, and the University of Kentucky.[11]
Kathrada was also voted 46th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.
He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in 2005.
He was the chief guest on Nelson Mandela International Day at the India International Center, where he shared his views with children.

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Kathrada, Ahmed Mohamed
Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada (b. August 21, 1929, Schweizer-Reneke, Western Transvaal, South Africa  – d. March 28, 2017, Johannesburg, South Africa), sometimes known by the nickname "Kathy", was a South African politician, former political prisoner and anti-apartheid activist.
Kathrada's involvement in the anti-apartheid activities of the African National Congress (ANC) led him to his long-term imprisonment following the Rivonia Trial, in which he was held at Robben Island and Pollsmoor Prison.  Following his release in 1990, he was elected to serve as a member of parliament, representing the ANC. He authored a book, No Bread for Mandela- Memoirs of Ahmed Kathrada, Prisoner No. 468/64.
Born into an Indian Muslim family, Kathrada was born in the small country town of Schweizer-Reneke in the Western Transvaal, the fourth of six children in a Gujarati Bohra family of South African Indian immigrant parents from Surat, Gujarat. 
Owing to his Indian origin and the policies of the time, he could not be admitted to any of the "European" or "African" schools in the area and thus he had to move to Johannesburg, 200 miles to the east, to be educated. Once in Johannesburg, he was influenced by leaders of the Transvaal Indian Congress such as Dr.Yusuf Dadoo, I. C. Meer, Moulvi and Yusuf Cachalia, and J. N. Singh. Consequently, he became a political activist at the early age of 12 when he joined the Young Communist League of South Africa.. He took part in various activities such as handing out leaflets and performing volunteer work in the individual passive resistance against the Pegging Act in 1941. During World War II, he was involved in the anti-war campaign of the Non-European United Front.  
At the age of 17, Kathrada left school to work full-time for the Transvaal Passive Resistance Council in order to work against the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act, commonly referred to as the "Ghetto Act", which sought to give Indians limited political representation and defined the areas where Indians could live, trade and own land.
Kathrada was one of the two thousand volunteers imprisoned as a result of the campaign; he spent a month in a Durban jail. This was his first jail sentence for civil disobedience. Reportedly, he gave an incorrect age to the police so that he would not be treated as a juvenile, but sent to an adult prison instead. Later, he was elected as secretary-general of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress.
While Kathrada was a student at the University of the Witwatersrand he was sent as a delegate of the Transvaal Indian Youth Congress to the Third World Festival of Youth and Students in East Berlin  in 1951.  He was elected as the leader of the large multi-racial South African delegation. He remained in Europe in order to attend a congress of the International Union of Students in Warsaw, and finally travelled to Budapest and worked at the headquarters of the World Federation of Democratic Youth for nine months.
As a result of the growing co-operation between the African and Indian Congresses in the 1950s, Kathrada came into close contact with African National Congress leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu.  Kathrada was one of 156 accused in the four-year Treason Trial which lasted from 1956 to 1960. Eventually, all of the accused were found not guilty.
After the ANC and various other anti-apartheid organizations were banned in 1960, Kathrada continued his political activities despite repeated detentions and increasingly severe house arrest measures against him. In order to be free to continue his activities, Kathrada went underground early in 1963.
On July 11, 1963, Kathrada was arrested at the South African internal headquarters of Umkhonto we Sizwe ("The Spear of the Nation" - the military wing of the ANC) in Rivonia near Johannesburg. Although Kathrada was not a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe, he became one of the accused in the famous Rivonia Trial, which started in October 1963. He was charged with sabotage and attempting to overthrow the government by violent means.
The trial ended in June 1964; Kathrada was sentenced to life imprisonment along with Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Billy Nair, Elias Motsoaledi, Raymond Mhlaba and Denis Goldberg. 
For the following 18 years, Kathrada was confined to the Robben Island Maximum Security Prison along with most of his Rivonia Trial "colleagues". In October 1982, he was moved to Pollsmoor Maximum Prison near Cape Town to join others such as Mandela, Sisulu, Mhlaba and Mlangeni who had been moved there a few months before.
While in jail on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor, Kathrada completed a bachelor's degree in History/Criminology and Bibliography as well as Honours degrees in History and African Politics through the University of South Africa. (However, the prison authorities refused to allow him or the other prisoners to pursue postgraduate studies.)
On October 15, 1989, Kathrada, along with Jeff Masemola, Raymond Mhlaba, Billy Nair, Wilton Mkwayi, Andrew Mlangeni, Elias Motsoaledi, Oscar Mpetha, and Walter Sisulu were released from Johannesburg prison.
After the unbanning of the ANC in February 1990, Kathrada served on the interim leadership committees of both the ANC and the South African Communist Party.  He resigned from the latter position when he was elected to the ANC National Executive Committee in July 1991. During the same year, he was appointed as head of ANC public relations as well as a fellow of the University of the Western Cape's  Mayibuye Centre.
Kathrada went on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 1992.
In the first all-inclusive democratic South African elections in 1994, Kathrada was elected as a member of parliament for the ANC.  In September 1994, Kathrada was appointed as the political advisor to President Mandela in the newly created post of Parliamentary Counsellor. In June 1999, Kathrada left parliamentary politics.
In 1994 and 1995, Kathrada was elected as chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council. He remained the chairperson of the Robben Island Museum Council. On October 27, 2013, on the island, he launched the International Campaign to Free Marwan Barghouthi and All Palestinian Prisoners.
Kathrada's life partner was Barbara Hogan, a Minister of Public Enterprises. 

Kathrada died at a medical center in Johannesburg from complications of a cerebral embolism on 28 March 28, 2017, at the age of 87.
In addition to receiving the Isitwalandwe Award (the ANC’s highest possible accolade) whilst still in prison, Kathrada has also been awarded four Honorary Doctorates, including the University of Missouri, Michigan State University, and the University of Kentucky. 
Kathrada was also voted 46th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.
He was awarded the Pravasi Bharativa Samman by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in 2005.