Albert Lutuli (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: In 1960, Lutuli became the first African to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This international honor recognized his commitment to nonviolent means to free South Africans from apartheid and to restore the honor of Africa.
Albert John Mvumbi (“Continuous Rain”) Lutuli (“Dust”) was born to South African parents in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Lutuli was an infant when his father died. In 1908, Lutuli’s mother returned to Natal and sent her son to Groutville to live with his uncle, Chief Martin Lutuli. Young Lutuli’s formal education was influenced by rural isolation and American missionaries, whose interaction gave him a slight American accent. In 1922, he accepted a faculty position at Adams Mission Station College and came under the influence of his renowned colleague, Zacharia Keodireland Matthews. In 1933, Lutuli became president of the African Teachers’ Association.
Lutuli’s devout Christianity led to church-sponsored trips to India in 1938 and the United States in 1948. While in the United States, Lutuli often spoke of his quest to merge Christianity with traditional African beliefs. His religion and sheltered life with his uncle helped shield him from the racist policies of South African government. These early experiences help explain why he was an advocate of nonviolence and free from bitterness when he entered politics late in life.
In 1927, Lutuli...
(The entire section is 2007 words.)
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