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Black History Month Report: Nelson Mandela

532 words - 3 pages

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was an important figure in South Africa who helped to end apartheid. He was born on July 18, 1918 in the tiny African village of Mvezo. His father was a counsel to the Thembu king and Mandela was supposed to inherit this position.At the age of seven Nelson Mandela was the first became the first of his family to attend school where a Methodist teacher gave him the name Nelson. His father died when he was nine. Mandela was adopted by the Regent Jongintaba and went to school right next to his palace. After some more schooling, in 1937, Nelson moved to Healdtown to attend Wesleyan college. He boycotted a Student Council and got kicked out of school. Not ...view middle of the document...

On December 5, 1956, Nelson Mandela was arrested along with 150 and charged with treason. The trial lasted until 1961 and all were acquitted. Then a new class of black activists emerged demanding bigger and more drastic steps. In 1959 the ANC lost most of its militant support when the Africanists broke away to form the Pan Africanist Congress.In 1961 Nelson became the leader of the ANC's armed wing which he co-founded. In 1962 he was arrested for leading workers to strike and leaving the country illegally. He was sentenced to five years in prison. While he was in jail, most of the important ANC leaders were also arrested. Mandela was brought to their trail and was charged with the capital crimes of sabotage and crimes equivalent to treason. He was sentenced to life in prison. While in prison, Mandela was able to send a statement to the ANC who in turn published it on 10 June 1980, reading in part:Unite! Mobilise! Fight on! Between the anvil of united mass action and the hammer of the armed struggle we shall crush apartheid! Refusing an offer of conditional release in 1985, Mandela remained in prison until February 11, 1990. On the day of his release Nelson Mandela made a speech to his country declaring his commitment to peace.In 1994 South Africa had its first democratic elections open to everybody. The ANC won the majority in the election and Mandela as the leader of the ANC became the nation's first black president. After his retirement as president in 1999 Mandela went on to become an advocate for a variety of social and human rights organizations. Today he still is an important figure.

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