February 5, 1984
Dennis Brutus, South African poet and anti-Apartheid activist, lectured on "the Poetry of Resistance: Human Rights in South Africa." The president of the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee, which successfully lobbied for the exclusion of South Africa from the Olympics, he was imprisoned for 16 months in Robben Island Prison. Mr. Brutus was awarded the Mbari Poetry Prize for African poetry of distinction for his first collection, Sirens, Knuckles and Boots: Poems (1963), but he rejected the award because of its racial exclusivity.
Exiled after his release from prison, in 1984 Brutus was given asylum in the United States as a political refugee.