“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

 

On this day, 11 February 1990, Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years as a political prisoner. Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary leader. After the South African National; Party’s white government established apartheid, whereby South Africa was racially segregated with greater preference given to the white population, Mandela founded the Defiance Campaign against the apartheid. He was considered as being a communist by the opposition and was arrested multiple times for this alone. He also had to face treason and sedition charges. He continued to put up a fight against the white South-African government by protesting peacefully at first, but later he led a campaign to overthrow the government which led to his ultimate life imprisonment in 1962. He was finally released in 1990, and soon after he was elected as the President of the African National Congress. In 1994, he became the country’s first black head of state. His government focused on bringing about an end to the racial discrimination and apartheid that had plagued South Africa for several decades.

The world continues to remember Nelson Mandela’s incredible achievements. He is a symbol of perseverance, resilience and resolve in South Africa as well as the entire world. His fight to end racial discrimination is still used as an example today as racism continues to pervade many societies.