Thursday, December 05, 2013

Nelson R. Mandela, 1918-2013

We have lost one of the true heroes and greatest statesmen of our era or any other. A brilliant person, a freedom fighter, a beacon of resistance, a visionary leader, an icon of peace. A person who, alongside others, bore arms when he needed to. A person who, alongside others, consulted the law when he needed to. A person who, alongside others, endured decades years in prison because he had to. A person who, alongside so many other women and men, brought a new dawn and a new day to one of the most benighted countries, wracked by the cancer of institutionalized and systemic racism and white supremacy known as apartheid. A man who chose democracy, who chose inclusion, who chose justice informed and enrichd by forgiveness rather than vengeance. A man who promoted economic, political and justice in the new South Africa. A man who assumed the role of President of a renewed country that was forever changed, giving hope to his people, all the people of his country, and to many more across the globe.

Nelson Rolihlahla MANDELA (July 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013)

The forthcoming New Yorker cover
by Kadir Nelson

Mandela in traditional clothing
A young Mandela
President Nelson R. Mandela
Mandela the young lawyer
Celebrating with Miriam Makeba
Mandela at an ANC rally
Winnie and Nelson Mandela
as newlyweds
"I am prepared to die" (1964)
Mandela at Robben Island

Nelson Mandela with Walter Sisulu

Mandela receiving the Nobel Peace Prize
with South Africa's last apartheid
leader, F. W. de Klerk
Mandela with actor and musician Will Smith

The landmark 1994 South African
presidential ballot
Rest in peace, Madiba, rest in peace.

Videos after the jump:

Mandela's speech after being released from prison
Ladysmith Black Mambazo performing N'kosi Sikelela (Live at Montreux 1989)

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