Who was Nelson Mandela?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Nelson Mandela was a leader of South Africa who had a variety of experiences before he became the President of South Africa.

Nelson Mandela was a member of the African National Congress who worked very hard to bring an end to the inequality Black Africans faced in South Africa. He was involved in both nonviolent and violent protests as the white minority established a system of racial segregation designed to keep the white people in power.

When he first started to protest the segregation and inequality that existed in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was involved in nonviolent protests. He organized protests, such as strikes and boycotts, and also helped Black Africans receive free or low-cost legal services when he and another person opened South Africa’s first black law firm.

Eventually, he believed a more aggressive form of protest was needed to bring about change. Nelson Mandela was involved in a campaign of sabotage against the government of South Africa. He ended up spending three decades in prison for his actions. During this time, he remained the symbol of the movement to end apartheid in South Africa. The “Free Nelson Mandela” campaign kept his name known in public and put pressure on the government of South Africa to change its policies.

Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. He worked with the government to end the apartheid system. He and the current president at that time, F. W. de Klerk, received the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to end the apartheid system. This system ended in 1994, and in the first multiracial elections held in South Africa, Nelson Mandela was elected President in 1994. President Mandela worked to make conditions better for the black population of South Africa. A new constitution was also written, which was adopted in 1996. The constitution prevented discrimination against minorities and allowed for a government based on the concept of rule by the majority. In 1999, Nelson Mandela retired and left the political scene once his term of office ended. Nelson Mandela died in 2013.

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