Before reading the biography I knew very little about his life. I knew he was an African freedom fighter and that he was the president of South Africa. I knew he led anti-apartheid strikes. I also had the vague idea that he was involved in the communist party and he had gone to jail, but never really put much thought into it. I knew nothing at all about his personal life or what he had done to the people of South Africa and the suffering he went through. 3) What did you learn from reading the biography about the historical person you choose that you didn’t know prior to reading about that historical person?
What fascinated you about the historical you choose to read about through a biography? I learned a vast amount of information on President Nelson Mandela that will never forget. Firstly learned that Mandela’s story actually starts before he was born. Around the asses Dutch Boers living in southern Africa were being ruled by Britain. Most apposed their rule and after abolishing slavery they left the country and immigrated north, known as the Great Trek. During this time industrialization was occurring and the Boers had discovered many diamond and gold mines.
Here whites would hire black workers for low wages, and hard labor. This was just the beginning of white oppression. Blacks were soon segregated in daily life from the whites. Police officers and other officials were soon established to oversee the blacks. Later Britain would intervene with Boer affairs and in 1899 the Boer war erupted. In the end Boers could not fend off the British and Britain turned South African into a dominion. With this new dominion blacks were not allowed to vote or be represented in government. Blacks eventually established the African
National Congress (NC) in 1912 due to their resentment of this inferior status. Whites enacted new, harsher laws in response to the NC. These laws included restricting blacks from owning land, buying land, working in “skilled jobs” and traveling without identification papers. These laws strengthened tensions on the already 250 black over white segregation. Nelson Mandela was actually born as Railhead Mandela into the Media clan in Moved, Transfer, on July 18, 1918. He was given the name Nelson as part of the Christian customs.
As a child growing up Nelson would often listen to the Tories of the communities elders talk about the ‘Good 01 Days’ before the coming of the white man. They told of the wars their ancestors had fought in to defend their country and their acts of courage. This shaped nelsons character and attitude, learning about the people fostered Mandela’s commitment to help them. Nelson graduated high school and went on to college at Fort Hare. Here Mandela led his first protest for better food quality and quantity. The strike ended up getting him suspended.
He then moved to Johannesburg where he studied law and lived in a highly impoverished township. This surrounding by poverty led him to join the NC and fight for equality. Later he met Walter Usual and the two developed a very close friendship. Walter introduced Nelson to his cousin Evelyn, the two married in 1944. The NC created a youth league in which Mandela’s leadership and sharp political skills soon promoted him to the highest position. The events in 1 950 were a turning point for Nelson. He watched as white officers killed 18 protestors on strike. Nelson was climbing up the ranks in the NC, fast.
Nelson Mandela was arrested in a countrywide police swoop in December of 955, which led to the 1956 Treason Trial. Men and women of all races found themselves in trouble in a marathon trial that only ended when the last 28 accused, including Mandela were acquitted on 29 March 1 961. In March 1960 police killed 69 unarmed people in a protest against the pass laws held at Shriveled. This led to the country’s first state of emergency and the banning of the NC and the Pan Africans Congress on April 8th. Mandela and his colleagues found themselves in the Treason Trial among thousands detained during the state of emergency.
During the trial in June 1 958 Nelson married a social worker, Winnie Medieval. They had two daughters and later divorced in 1996. In June 1961 he was asked to lead the armed struggle and helped to establish Spear of the Nation. On 11 January 1 962, using the name David Motorways, Nelson secretly left South Africa. He traveled around Africa and visited England to gain support for the armed rebellion. He received military training in Morocco and Ethiopia and returned to South Africa in July 1962. Unfortunately he was arrested at a police roadblock while returning.
He was harmed with leaving the country illegally and inciting workers to strike. He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. On May 27th 1963 he was transferred to Robber Island. Later police raided a secret hideout in Raving used by NC and Communist Party activists, and several of his allies were arrested. On October 9th 1 963 Nelson Mandela joined ten others on trial for sabotage in what became known as the Raving Trial. While facing the death penalty he had a few words to the court, “l have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination.
I have cherished the deal 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 am prepared to die. ” This became known as his famous speech, ‘Speech from the Dock’. On June 1 lath 1964 Nelson Mandela and seven other accused were sentenced to life imprisonment. Life at Robber Island was extremely harsh and unforgiving. This was one of the dirtiest and roughest prisons on South Africa. Nelson Mandela suffered greatly through his 27-year stay here.
He was released from TTS gates on Sunday, February 1 lath 1990, nine days after the unbarring of the NC and the PACE and nearly four months after the release of his remaining Raving comrades. Nelson Mandela immersed himself in official talks to end white minority rule and in 1 991 was elected NC President. In 1993 he won the Nobel Peace Prize and on April 27th 1994 he voted for the first time in his life. On May 10th 1994 he was elected South Africans first President. On his 80th birthday in 1 998 he married Grata Michel, his third wife.
True to his promise Nelson Mandela stepped down in 1999 after one term as President. He continued to work with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund he set up in 1995 and established the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Rhodes Foundation. I was really fascinated by the prime example that any one man can make a monumental change to the world. That no mater where you are from, the only thing that matters is where you are going. Also the fact that Nelson Mandela never left his insane commitment to improve democracy, equality, and learning in his country and world. Despite terrible opposition, he always kept on.
His entire life has inspired and will continue to inspire all who are oppressed and deprived and be a beacon of light that ensures brighter days will come if you truly sacrifice for what you believe in. 4) Would you recommend the biography to another person to read and learn from? Why or Why not? Yes, I would recommend the biography, Nelson Mandela: Strength and Spirit of a free South African because it is a great read if you want to learn more deeply about Nelson Mandela. It goes into great depth the details about his life and the journey he took fighting for equality. It is truly amazing what he accomplished.