Nelson Mandela

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South African Anti-Apartheid leader and first black President Nelson Mandela. Pictured burning his "pass" which was required for blacks to carry with them to identify their race and area of the country. They were not permitted to leave to travel to another region without a passport.

Nelson Mandela is South Africa's most influential leader.

            Nelson Mandela was a dominant figure in the South African liberation movement, burning his pass as a peaceful protest. The twentieth century in South Africa is something that unfortunately cannot be retrospectively looked at with pride, because of the practice of apartheid.  Apartheid had similarities to segregation in the American South, but was much worse.  In addition to not being able to vote and separation from the whites in public businesses, blacks (which made up seventy percent of the population) were forced to live in a small area of the country, and could not leave without a “pass,” which very few people had and were very hard to get.  Also, apartheid laws were explicitly stated laws, not just de facto rules that society followed, which South African blacks were forced to follow for nearly fifty years. Nelson Mandela rose up as leader of the African National Congress and major speaker against the evils of Apartheid, becoming the voice of the movement to end apartheid.               The use of passes came into effect when Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd developed the policy of separate development, in which the nine African groups that lived in South Africa were moved from the urban areas into the country areas.  If the Africans wanted to travel anywhere, or work, they needed a pass showing that they were allowed out of their designated section.  If found without their passes, or traveling outside of the regulated boundaries, they were arrested and put in jail for a minimum of 30 days.  These passes were used to keep the Africans in check, to regulate their ability to move and their freedom.  To the...
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