Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Black History Month: Madiba

July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013
“When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”

The Fact She3t is celebrating Black History Month and will start with a tribute to Nelson Mandela also referred to by his Xhosa clan name, Madiba. Sometimes referred to as the Father of South Africa It was Mandela who would come to embody the struggle to break the chains of economic and racial oppression in South Africa. As a civil rights lawyer Mandela's claim to prominence began with the organization, the African National Congress or ANC. It was there he would be involved in various demonstrative protests and efforts to birth a free South Africa where black South Africans were not subjugated to ghettos or viewed as foreigners in their own land.

While he did practice nonviolence in the beginning of the campaign, his views changed after some unsuccessful demonstrations and the brutality of the SA government at the time. Events such as the forced removal of residents in Sophiatown helped to fuel the change. Inspired by the work of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, Mandela involved himself in the armed unit of the ANC known as Spear of the Nation or MK for short. During the involvement with MK several bombings took place in order to draw attention to the problems of apartheid. After his capture (which the CIA aided in), Mandela spent 27 years in jail. After a very strong international effort to call for his release, largely by the US, Mandela along with his ANC colleagues were released from prison on February 2, 1990. He would go on to become the first black president of South Africa in 1994 and winner of 2 Nobel peace prizes among countless other accolades.

Written by: E. Rey

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