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Collins, Carole J.L. papers, 1974-2003 | Amistad Research Center

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Title: Collins, Carole J.L. papers, 1974-2003
Created by: Collins, Carole
Received Extent: 23.0 Linear Feet
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Scope and Contents:

Carole J.L. Collins was an activist and writer who concentrated her work on global economic justice and apartheid in South Africa. Her writing often appeared in the National Catholic Reporter, where she served as an Africa Correspondent (1985-1986), UN/Diplomatic Correspondent (1991-1992), and a freelance contributor (1970s-1990s), as well as other roles. Collins was the national coordinator for the Campaign to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa (COBLSA) from 1981-1983, the National Coordinator of Jubilee 2000/USA in 1998-1999, and held positions in the American Friends Service Committee, the Interfaith Action for Economic Justice, and the Africa Faith and Justice Network. Collins passed away September 23, 2006.

The Carole J.L. Collins papers consist of collected research materials in the forms of articles, book chapters, conference and presentation papers, news clippings, press releases and statements, publications, speeches, and reports with occasional correspondence and manuscripts drafts for work authored by Collins and her spouse, journalist Steve Askin. The papers mainly focus on the African country of Zaire (1971-1997), its banking and economy, diamond and ivory trade, human rights violations, health and welfare, and military; as well as governmental corruption and the country’s relationship to the United States, the Soviet Union, and the political developments that led to the country adopting the name Democratic Republic of the Congo (1998-). The papers also thoroughly document Zaire’s President Mobutu Sese Seko, the regime’s corruption, and Mobutu’s relationships with supporters. The papers also provide documentation regarding civil war and conflict of the Great Lakes region of Africa, which includes the countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania (1990s-2000s). Other topics covered include the First Congo War (1996-1997), the Rwandan genocide (1994), and the Second Congo War (1998-2003).

Of note are occasional manuscript chapter drafts of Collins and Askin’s unpublished book, “Zaire: Theft of a Nation” (1990-1991), as well as conference and position papers by them. Collins and Askin’s writings focus on the economic debt of Third World countries, Mobutu’s wealth and corruption, and banking in Africa.  Also of note are bound press clippings and reports covering Mobutu’s government and Zaire’s chronology (1971-1997). These materials cover the topics of corruption, economy, human rights, and the military, as well as Zaire’s relationships to Angola, the USSR and the United States. Of note are volumes dedicated to President Mobutu and the individuals who supported him.

There are numerous case studies and statistical reports for Rwanda and Zaire, as well as publications and periodicals from the United States and Africa, including Angola: Quarterly Update, Zaire Monthly, Zaire Afrique, Namibia Today, and Liberation. Reports throughout the papers encompass materials collected from numerous international bodies including the United Nations Security Council, ICG Central Africa, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

Of interest are newsletters and press statements by the Rainbow Lobby (1990-1992). The Rainbow Lobby, Inc. was an independent citizens lobby in Washington, D.C. that supported legislation that focused on civil and human rights, as well as the democratic process in the United States and abroad. The Rainbow Lobby, Inc. was not affiliated with minister and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition, Inc. A small amount of photographs of Zaire’s President Mobutu and army, as well as Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe (1981-1989) are included within the collection.



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