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"The struggle is my life," Nelson Mandela

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"The struggle is my life," Nelson Mandela once said. And few lives have been as full of struggle as his. Born in South Africa in 1918, Mandela studied to become a lawyer. He then devoted his life to fighting Apartheid, the official policy of racial segregation practiced by the South African government. The Apartheid affected every aspect of life in South America. A Black South African may have had the same exact job as a White South African, but could have made the less in an entire year that the White South African made in a month. This inequality and perjury of justice greatly distressed Nelson Mandela. His distinguishing characteristic, however, was his commitment to non-violence. Though he was eventually forced to take action, he stuck firmly to his policy of avoiding bloodshed at all costs. His desire to escape violence stood out against the backdrop of South African bloodshed, and though the government held him prisoner, while the entire world protested, he felt no desire for revenge, only justice. In 1943, Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC), initially as an activist. ...read more.


The year after that, the USA sponsored a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela. In 1988, a Nelson Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute Concert was held in Wemblly Stadium London. It was attended by an audience of 72,000 people, and seen on television by close to a billion people in over 60 countries. But even while in prison, Mandela continued to be a beacon of hope for his people, who carried on the struggle against Apartheid in his absence. In 1968 his mother passed away, and his eldest son was killed in a car crash. He was not allowed to attend the funerals. But even though he was imprisoned unfairly and treated unjustly, he refused to be violent or vengeful. During the years of his imprisonment, countries all over the world continued to honor his name, presenting him with degrees, doctorates, chancellorships, memberships, citizenships, and a countless number of awards. Several countries named parks, plazas, schools, and buildings after him, and some named streets after him. Monuments and statues were erected, and the world united in its goal of the freedom of the man who had worked so hard to bring freedom and justice to his homeland. ...read more.


Today, he has over 30 roads, parks, schools, gardens, squares, halls, buildings, and statues in 28 different countries built and/or named in his honor. Nelson Mandela remains a revered figure in South Africa today, as one of the world's true freedom fighters, and his life and personal triumphs will be remembered long after the world has forgotten the evils of Apartheid. His book, Long Walk to Freedom, tells the extraordinary story of his life, an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph: "I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter. I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment. For with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended." -Nelson Mandela ?? ?? ?? ?? Ra'idah Nelufar Noohu ~ December 1, 2005 ~ Honors English ~ Period 1 1 ...read more.

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