Champion of Freedom: Nelson Mandela

Overview

On February 11, 1990, South Africa's Nelson Mandela walked free after spending twenty-seven and a half years in prison-more than a third of his adult life. A delirious throng of well-wishers, numbering more than 100,000, greeted him in Cape Town with chants of "Viva Mandela," to which Mandela responded with a clenched-fist salute and an address that began with thanks to "friends, comrades, and fellow South Africans" for their "tireless and heroic sacrifices." Ordinary black South Africans had not heard the voice ...

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Overview

On February 11, 1990, South Africa's Nelson Mandela walked free after spending twenty-seven and a half years in prison-more than a third of his adult life. A delirious throng of well-wishers, numbering more than 100,000, greeted him in Cape Town with chants of "Viva Mandela," to which Mandela responded with a clenched-fist salute and an address that began with thanks to "friends, comrades, and fellow South Africans" for their "tireless and heroic sacrifices." Ordinary black South Africans had not heard the voice of their anti-apartheid hero, or even seen what he looked like, in a generation.

Release of "the prisoner of the century" captured headlines around the world. The seventy-one-year-old Mandela had been sentenced to life in prison on June 12, 1964, for conspiracy to overthrow the government of South Africa and its policies of white supremacy, known as apartheid. In apartheid South Africa, blacks had no rights: they could not vote, own land, move freely from one place to another, or live in "white" areas; and black children attended schools grossly inferior to those for whites.

Initially, Mandela had tried peaceful means to attain equal rights for South Africa's black majority, advocating civil resistance, speaking out, organizing strikes and rallies. However, when the government did not reform, but responded with violence by killing women and children, Mandela and other leading activists turned to armed struggle, carrying out sabotage against non-human targets such as power stations arid government buildings.

This was all a far cry from Mandela's humble beginnings as a herdboy in a small village. As a boy, he was often not sure of himself. He cared little for the outside world and rarely challenged authority. But when he grew up, Mandela bravely devoted his life to the cherished ideal of "d democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities." Four years after Mandela's release from prison, that cherished ideal began to fake shape, when he became the first president of a democratic South Africa, serving as a symbol of peace, unity, and change, even in the face of enormously difficult social and economic challenges. A democratic South Africa is one of the twentieth century's greatest achievements, and its native son. Nelson Mandela, is one of the world's most beloved statesmen.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Mandela's life and career have captured the imagination of millions, and this biography does nothing to detract from his heroic image. It clearly and logically outlines key events and includes background information that helps readers put historical events in context. Sawyer lays the foundation for Mandela's later greatness by detailing his early life and his relationship to Jongintaba Dalindyebo, regent for the tribal king. The civil rights leader's amazing story is told in a way that should prove enjoyable to many readers. Some passages are dense, but frequent quotations and interesting details balance them out. The text is enhanced by black-and-white and color photographs and reproductions. Side passages are integral and fascinating, covering topics from naming customs to "The Seeds of White Rule." A strong addition to biography collections.—Carol Jones Collins, Hanover Park High School, East Hanover, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599351674
  • Publisher: Morgan Reynolds, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/10/2011
  • Series: Champion of Freedom Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 1,455,154
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Son of a Village Chief 9

2 "Bound Heart and Soul" 27

3 Freedom Fighter 43

4 On Trial for High Treason 61

5 "An Outlaw in My Own Land" 77

6 "The Struggle Is My Life" 87

7 On Robbeh Island 101

8 "Time to Talk" 115

9 "Never Again" 131

10 "Madiba" 149

Timeline 159

Sources 161

Bibliography 168

Web sites 171

Index 172

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