July 1968

Founding of the American Committee to Keep Biafra Alive, an organization with a mission to inform and educate Americans about the Nigeria-Biafra War

The American Committee to Keep Biafra Alive (ACKBA) was formed a US-based advocacy organization by former Peace Corps volunteers in response to the Nigeria-Biafra War. ACKBA played a large role in enlightening the American people about the war and has been credited with pushing the US government for more intense humanitarian intervention during the conflict.

The group also argued that disagreements over the definition of genocide hindered the speed and depth of the intervention, and as a result thousands of people died from the famine caused by the war. ACKBA was one of the most outspoken organizations at the time in the United States, and, as Brian McNeil argues, “no organization in the United States made the genocide claim as boldly or as pronounced as the ACKBA.”

Ad sponsored by the American Committee to Keep Biafra Alive, Look magazine.
See Also:

Fehrenbach, Heide and Davide Rodogno. “’A Horrific Photo of a Drowned Syrian Child’: Humanitarian Photography and NGO Media Strategies in Historical Perspective.” International Review of the Red Cross 97: 900 (December 2015): 1121-55.

Heerten, Lasse. “’A’ as in Auschwitz, ‘B’ as in Biafra: The Nigerian Civil War, Visual Narratives of Genocide, and the Fragmented Universalization of the Holocaust.” In Humanitarian Photography: A History. Edited by Heide Fehrenbach and Davide Rodogno. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

McNeil, Brian. “‘And starvation is the grim reaper’: the American Committee to Keep Biafra Alive and the genocide question during the Nigerian civil war, 1968–70.” Journal of Genocide Research 16:2-3 (2014): 317-336.

Wilkinson, Iain. “The Provocation of the Humanitarian Social Imaginary.” Visual Communication 12: 3 (2013).

Sources: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=198298; http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14623528.2014.936723?needAccess=true