Nelson Mandela

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. – Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom

Born Rolihlahla Mandela, in Transkei, South Africa, and given the name Nelson by his school teacher. At the time this was done due to the arrogance of British colonization.  Rolihlahla in the Xhosa language was a cultural way of saying “trouble maker”, and Nelson Mandela meant trouble for the apartheid in South Africa.

Apartheid means separation and is a social, economical, and political system of discrimination that was established by the National Party of South African in 1948 and brutally reined until 1990. As a young lawyer, Mandela defended victims of apartheid and as a leader, he and others took over the African Nation Congress, ANC.

At that time, the ANC was a non-violent civil disobedience organization whose protest led to the arrest of eight and a half thousand natives. After the Sharpeville Massacre in which 69 natives were killed by police, the ANC were declared illegal and Mandela changed their strategy to an armed crusade against the military and government targets such as railways, telephone lines, power lines, and buildings.

Mandela continued to lead while in hiding for 17 months before he was arrested and tried. He was sentenced to five years in prison and was arrested again in 1964 and sentenced to life.

Raising support against apartheid prompted the United Nations to impose trade sanctions against South African. On Mandela’s 70th birthday a tribute concert seen by 400 million people was given for the dedication Mandela’s plight brought the crusade to abolish apartheid. In 1990, the U.N. negotiated with newly president F.W. de Klerk for Mandela’s release.

Mandela served 27 years in prison and on February 11th 1990, he was released. In 1994 Mandela was elected president of South Africa and served until 1999.

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