Nelson Mandela and the fight against apartheid
Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 in South Africa to a Thembu chief. Thirty years later he would start one of the most famous movements of our time, the anti-apartheid movement. Apartheid was an official policy of forced segregation of the races and was implemented in 1948 by the National Party when it came to power in South Africa. Under apartheid, all black citizens were forced to carry passbooks stating all of their information. Two laws, which were at the heart of apartheid, included the Population Registration Act, which labeled everyone in South Africa by race, and the Group Areas Act, which forced racial groups to live in different places. In a nutshell it was the white run government trying to separate everything between the black South African’s and the white South African’s. Both laws were put into place to establish apartheid, which literally means “apartness”, the separation of the races. At that time 80% of the South African population was not white and barred from voting in elections. The head of this crazy idea was Prime Minister Daniel Malan, who was head of the National Party. He took racism and oppression to new heights, but Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to bringing it back down again. His life was not waste
In writing about Nelson Mandela, I really learned to look up to a man that I knew only by name before I started this paper. Apartheid was something that should never have taken place and was responsible for changing the lives of so many people, but if anyone was to be at the front fighting, Nelson Mandela was the man for the job. To have such conviction and passion for something that you will sacrifice your life for it, is truly something that all people should strive to achieve, because if you have nothing to strive for and be passionate about, then you are not living life at all. I leave you with these words by Mr. Mandela that I feel sum up the way we should live today in a society that is so worried about things that are least important:
In March of 1960, the Sharpeville Massacre was a turning point in the anti-apartheid movement when 69 black South African’s were massacred during a demonstration to ban South Africa’s pass laws (Laws which controlled the movement and employment of black’s and forced them to carry identity papers) . After the massacre the ANC was banned and decided it would no longer take a non-violent stance after going underground. Up until that time, nonviolence had been an important aspect of their philosophy. In December of 1961, Mandela helped establish the ANC’s military wing and he was named commander in chief. To fulfill his duties he went to Algeria for military training. When he returned back to South Africa, he was arrested for incitement and leaving the country illegally. He acted as his own defense team and was eventually sentenced to 5 years in prison.
This laid the foundation for a meeting between Mandela and de Klerk in December of 1989. After fierce negotiations, Nelson Mandela was finally freed from prison in February 1990 after de Klerk acknowledged that the government’s position could be adjusted. Before Parliament, de Klerk announced sweeping changes that would dismantle apartheid. The government lifted its bans on the ANC, freed politica
Some topics in this essay:
Nelson Mandela, South Africa, African National Congress, Thabo Mbeki, Frederik Willem De Klerk, National Party, F W De Klerk, Oliver Tambo, Government, Algeria,
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