Nelson Mandela: The End to Apartheid

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After the success of the Industrial Revolution, Great Britain sought interest in expanding their establishments and discovering more natural resources throughout Asia and Africa; which is referred as the Imperialism movement. By the 1900s, most of Africa was attained by Western powers. They bought over social, economic, and cultural influences that changed the way Africans lived; especially in South Africa. Although South Africa obtained their independence from Britain, strict laws and racial policies were already enforced. The National Party came in power and created a system where nonwhites were forced to used separate public facilities and live in separate areas from whites and contact between the two groups were strictly limited. This movement was known as apartheid. Nelson Mandela believed in racial equality and spent most of his life protesting the National Party. He spent 27 years in prison for opposing the National Party. He worked to achieve a better future for all races and became the first president of South Africa. In this assignment, I will be discussing how Nelson Mandela was an important political figure and the changes he has made during his term. I will also be providing a background of his life and important events during Apartheid.

This book, written by William Beinart and Saul Dubow, provides an informative background on what Apartheid actually is and how it started. British colonization has influenced South Africa both socially and politically. The country brought their own people to live in South Africa and implanted new laws that would forever change the lives of natural South Africans. The National Party, which consisted of the Afrikaner and British government, came into power in 1948. Apartheid was established to separate whites and nonwhites. This book contains information on various segregation laws and how the origins of apartheid has affected South Africa, even up to today. For example, the Population Registration Act required every South African to identify with a race on his or her certificate. Although not implied, this would determine what each race was entitled to. The Reservation of Separate Amenities Act was implemented in 1953 which further promoted segregation. This allowed public facilities to determine which races were allowed. The interaction of whites and nonwhites was strictly prohibited, and it was illegal for both races to have “mixed” children. “Colored” people, what mixed people were referred to, were seen as threats to South Africa. This book quotes Nelson Mandela a significant leader in ending apartheid. However, this source will mainly be used to site a background on the colonization of South Africa and on apartheid laws.

This source is an article posted by The New York Times reminiscing on Nelson Mandela’s death and gives us a timeline on important events that has occurred during his life including his time he served in jail, his presidency, and post presidency. Mandela never once doubted racial equality, despite the strict racial policies black and colored South Africans faced. An important aspect in this article that will help me throughout this paper is that Mandela was known for his powerful voice and his opposition towards the white supremacy. The way the author of this article describes Mandela allows readers to understand how important his advocacy was which eventually paved the way for democracy in South Africa. Even in prison, he was able to inspire others. Before his sentence was over, people America and Britain were all rooting for Mandela’s freedom. The author also talks about Mandela’s willingness to learn during his time in prison. He taught himself how to speak Afrikaans, the main language of white South Africans and encouraged others to learn as well. Here, we also learn about his relationships: family, friends, and politicians he’s worked with. Overall, Mandela states how his time in jail has allowed him to achieve a better outlook regarding segregation.

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I will be using this book as one of my primary sources. “Conversations with Myself” is one of Nelson Mandela’s autobiographies where he talks about his life during and after apartheid; which will provide some of the most useful information for my assignment. However, this book draws more attention on his thoughts and conversations with others. This book contains his diary entries, letters, and taped conversations during his time he spent in prison. These sources will provide a better insight on his thoughts, especially during his sentence, that will help me throughout my paper. His letters tell his audience about the kind of relationships he’s had.

This is another book that will be used as one of my primary sources; since it was written by Mandela, himself, and provides the most useful information on his political views. As the title suggests, Mandela talks about his time he served in jail trying to protest segregation. He was identified as a terrorist by the National Party and was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison. He also reflects on his experiences and thoughts throughout the book. This source will also provide some basic and personal information on the author. For instance, when was he born, his childhood, his friends and family, and his education. Although Nelson Mandela faced numerous hardships throughout his life, his desire for racial freedom never died out. These events would eventually lead to racial equality and democracy in South Africa. Mandela was known as a great motivational speaker and was admired by the public. Reading his own experiences gives his audience the same sense of amity you would usually hear in his speeches. I will be using several quotes from this book throughout my essay to provide more insight on Mandela’s outlook of Apartheid. This will allow my audience to experience the effect Mandela had on people.

This source that I will be discussing in my paper is a speech that former U.S. president Obama addressed at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service on December 10, 2013. The way Obama describes Mandela and the impacts he had on his South Africa will help me build credibility throughout my paper as to why Mandela was an important political figure. Both Obama and Mandela were known for their ability to deliver powerful speeches and connect with their audiences emotionally. Throughout Obama’s speech, he praises Mandela’s desire to end segregation and to establish a democratic government.

Here is a quote I will be using in my paper: “His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy” (Obama, 2013). Here, Obama reminds the audience, the people of Johannesburg, South Africa, the effects that Mandela had on their country and how his guidance and inspiration would eventually help strive the betterment of racial equality. Obama also addresses his beliefs and values he shared with Mandela; which establishes a well-structured speech for his audience. I mentioned in a previous source how Mandela taught himself to speak Afrikaans. “He learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his” (Obama, 2013). This is another quote that will support my reasoning why this was important for Mandela.

This article is a review on the book Born a Crime, written by Trevor Noah. This book is about the author’s struggles he has dealt with being “colored,” especially during apartheid. Although this paper focuses on Nelson Mandela and his political and racial impacts, I believe it will be beneficial to include another person’s perspective on apartheid. This will allow the audience to understand how important Mandela was in ending segregation in South Africa. Trevor Noah was born in South Africa to a black woman and a Swiss-German father. Apartheid made it illegal for whites and non-whites to interact with each other. As the title of the book suggests, the author was literally born a crime. Because of this, Trevor Noah and his mother were not able to be seen with each other since his mother would face up to five years in jail. Apartheid created strict laws mainly to every race that was not white, including blacks, colored, and Asian people. Growing up, Noah felt like he was an outsider with his classmates and family since he was the only colored one in his surroundings. Blacks would perceive him as white and whites would perceive him as black. Most people think Apartheid was just racism towards blacks, but it was actually a system that turned all races against each other in some shape or form.

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