“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
—Nelson Mandela. Speech from the dock. April 1964.
1990: Released from prison, after 27 years, at the age of 71.
1993: Nobel Peace Prize with Frederik Willem de Klerk “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.”
1994: Elected president of South Africa in the first multiracial election.
Nelson Mandela was a man of rare intelligence, strength, integrity, compassion. He was hurt so many times, outrageously and deliberately, and yet he said, "Courageous people do not fear forgiving for the sake of peace," and by example, angled us all further toward reconciliation.
Thank you, Nelson Mandela.
Rest in Peace.