Yestherday after the news was realeased on Nelson Mandela's death, some people had no clue who he was or what he fought for. It saddens me that many do not know this great man and the legacy he leaves behind. I wanted to take the time to write this post to, hopefully, enlighten you all.
“Difficulties break some men but make others.” Nelson Mandela wrote these words in a letter to his wife, Winnie Mandela, from Robben Island in February 1975. Nelson Mandela died yesterday. In my opinion Mandela was a hero. He was an anti-apartheid fighter. He was the former South African president. He was an activist and prized national figure. Mandela was hated in his own country when he first spoke out about the injustice of South Africa; but today his struggle to overturn apartheid is viewed as an inspiration to many worldwide.
In the 50’s Mandela along with other political activists were charged with high treason for activities against the government.(3) While he was eventually acquitted, he later left the country and secretly traveled under a fake name, while still delivering his message of equality. “The press nicknamed him "the Black Pimpernel" because of his police evasion tactics.”(3)
But he could not evade law enforcement for long. Mandela spent a total of 27 years in prison.(2)
“In 1993, Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, an honor he shared with F.W. de Klerk, the white Afrikaner leader who freed him from prison three years earlier and negotiated the end of apartheid. “(1)
Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994.(1)
I first learned about “Apartheid” in Junior High. One of the required readings for my social studies class was based in South Africa. I cannot for the life of me remember the name of the novel. It told the story of one white African and one black African boy’s story. They were both no older than twelve. Their lives were very different while growing up in the same South African town. This novel really touched me and made me admire Nelson Mandela even more.
YA & Middle Grade Novels about Apartheid:
(1). 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-nelson-mandela-dead-20131205,0,6266118.story(2). 2013 NBCNews.com http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/12/05/17500450-he-is-now-at-peace-nelson-mandela-dead-at-95(3). 2013 Cable News Network http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/05/world/africa/nelson-mandela/