Born on Chicago’s West Side, Prexy Nesbitt has spent more than five decades as an educator, activist, and speaker on Africa, foreign policy, and racism. Over the course of his career, Prexy has made more than one hundred trips to Africa, including trips taken in secret to apartheid-torn South Africa. Prexy’s career has also included extensive consulting and training on class, race, multiculturalism and diversity. An experienced teacher and lecturer at both high school and university levels, he has also worked as a “red cap,” social worker, union organizer, special assistant to Chicago’s Mayor, the late Harold Washington, and a senior program officer with the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.
A product of the University College of Dar Es Salaam and Antioch College, Prexy was active in the USA, Canada and Europe in the struggle to end apartheid and worked to end colonialism in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia) and Namibia (former Southwest Africa). He visited Cuba in 1975 hosted by the Cuban government to meet with leaders of the MPLA of Angola. In 1976 he co-chaired the US Out of Angola Committee, a national body opposing US military assistance to UNITA and the FNLA. From 1979-1983, he worked worldwide as the Program Director of the World Council of Churches Program to Combat Racism based out of Geneva, Switzerland. In the late 80’s he served as senior consultant to the Mozambique Government organizing in North America to prevent the apartheid-backed rebel movement, RENAMO, from gaining official support from the Reagan administration and its allies.
Prexy has lectured extensively, both in the United States and abroad, on African history, political economy and race, and has published a book and articles in some twenty-five international journals. He was interviewed in the 1993 documentary about police brutality in Chicago, “The End of the Nightstick” and also served as a co-writer on the 1999 BBC/PBS production of The People’s Century film series segment, “Skin Deep,” a documentary about racism in the United States and South Africa.
Today, Mr. Nesbitt travels the USA speaking on social justice issues relating to race, multiculturalism, and diversity; community and labor organizing; and militarism and war, especially in relation to Africa. He continues to teach African history courses at Columbia College in Chicago, and leads educational and cultural tours of Southern Africa, Latin America, and Chicago’s South and West Sides.