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The Legacy Of Nelson Mandela Essay

1579 words - 6 pages

“To deny people their right to human rights is to challenge their very humanity. To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanize them. But such has been the terrible fate of all black persons in our country under the system of apartheid (“In Nelson Mandela’s own words”). Nelson Mandela was a moral compass symbolizing the struggle against racial oppression. Nelson Mandela emerged from prison after twenty-seven years to lead his country to justice. For twenty-seven years he sat in a cell because he believed in a country without apartheid, a country with freedom and human rights. He fought for a country where all people were equal, treated with respect and given equal opportunity. Nelson Mandela looms large in the actions of activists and politicians. He inspired music and movies, and swayed the mind of powerful leaders. Making him an influential person who affected American culture.
Nelson Mandela had a way of spreading his beliefs in a way that touched every single person. His impact on the United States started with financial boycotts. “Students on campuses across the country in the late 1970s called for their university and colleges to divest from investments in South Africa, which led to thousands of sit –ins and protests marches. We had marches day after day, thousands of people got arrested in Washington, D.C.," said civil rights attorney Charles Ogletree (Carter). Everyone who was arrested was released and no one had charges pressed because it was a national issue, everyone was involved in it. As a result of the protests and the marches, in1986 Ron Dellums, representative from California, sponsored a bill that prohibited any type of trade with Africa. The bill was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan; Congress however, enforced its power and overruled the veto. This put into effect the prohibition of full trade embargo with South Africa. The bill was affective. South Africa began to struggle, causing the minster to put an effort into compromising with the wants of the black Africans. To this day the type of activism protesting introduced by students with the intent of changing South Africa’s apartheid and freeing Nelson Mandela has become a protester staple. The boycotts are used in fast food restaurants to protest low wages. Nelson Mandela encouraged college students and students across America to march, protest and boycott against South African business and his imprisonment. The forms in which they protested are use to this day for protesting for other reasons.
Nelson Mandela had a huge impact on the activists, but what may be over looked is his impact on pop culture and movies. Beginning “…with musician Steven Van Zandt’s ‘Sun City’ a song that protested the South African policy of apartheid” (Carter). The music brought together powerhouse musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Run DMC and dozen more. They all came together to make a music video. Very Few influential figures of the twentieth century inspired as...

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