Nelson Mandela

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Rolihlahla Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in Transkei, South Africa in the tiny village of Mvezo. He was the first member of his family to go to school. Due to the customs of the British educational system his teacher changed his first name to Nelson. When Nelson Mandela was nine, his father died of lung cancer. This was a turning point for Nelson who was placed in the care of the chief of the Thembu people, Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo. While living in the palace Nelson studied English, History and Geography thus his interest of African history was developed. At the age of 16, Nelson participated in the circumcision ritual that would carry him into manhood. He welcomed the chance to take part in his people’s traditions and was ready to make the move from boyhood to manhood. He continued his education at Clarkebury Boarding School and Wesleyan College, where he was a strong student and a star athlete in boxing and track and field. During his education, Mandela became interested in his country’s history and the plight of South Africa’s black population. He went on to study law at the University College of Fort Hare in hopes of working in the legal system, where black men could earn the most money. To further fight the social injustices around him, Mandela became a member of the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, first as an activist, then as the founder and president of the ANC Youth League. Mr. Mandela became a lawyer and in 1952 opened a law practice in Johannesburg with his partner, Oliver Tambo. In 1956 things did not look good for the ANC, when Mandela and other ANC members faced treason charges, but he was acquitted and went back to work. The struggle against apartheid grew, because of the new Pass Laws, which stated where black people were allowed to live and work. In 1960 the ANC was outlawed and Mr. Mandela went underground. Tension with the apartheid government grew, and soared to new heights in 1960 when 69 black...
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