Nelson Mandela

Topics: Nelson Mandela, South Africa under apartheid, African National Congress Pages: 4 (1625 words) Published: December 23, 2013
Great leaders in history often leave behind a legacy. This legacy takes the values that they held dearest and is usually compacted into a couple words or a phrase that the public will forever associate with that leader’s name. For example, Mohandas Gandhi and ‘civil disobedience’ have become synonymous over the years. Whenever someone refers to the act of nonviolent protest, civil disobedience - sometimes even called the ‘Gandhian principle’ – one would think of Gandhi. Another example is Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for civil rights in the 1960s. His renowned ‘I Have a Dream’ speech changed the lives of millions of Americans as King preached equality in Washington, D.C. Like these great leaders, Nelson Mandela, too, left behind a legacy. Now, as an American, I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I did not know as much about Mandela as I should’ve. After reading about his accomplishments and the sacrifices he made to ensure the prosperity of his people, Mandela should be studied in primary schools in far more depth than he is today. I, as an average American, was ignorant to the fact that Mandela is still alive! I’d like to say that this was simply my ignorance, but when I asked around, I found that not many people knew this, and many of them could not define what it is exactly that Nelson Mandela achieved. After asking several people, all I got was a few people vaguely associating his name with the principle of ‘apartheid’. Mandela is an international hero and possibly one of the greatest leaders to emerge from a tiny town in South Africa, yet American college students barely know who he is. After reading Mandela’s biography, there were three things in particular that intrigued me about him. The first was his decision to resign from the Student Representative Council (SRC) at Fort Hare University. The second was his decision to execute sabotage to end the apartheid, and the third was continuing to fight after being locked up for 27 years. Mandela’s long...
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