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Celebrating Nelson Mandela's 20th Year of Freedom
nelson_mandela_return_to_cell.jpgIt was 20 years ago today when Nelson Mandela was released from from a 5 meter square cell at Robben Island Prison. He was falsely imprisoned for 27 years He went on to become South African Prime Minister and united a nation. And partially, the World.

Today brought back some memories. I was reminded about hearing about apartheid when I was kid. It was when I spent my hard earned paper route money on U2's Rattle & Hum record. So, 1988. Bono talks about "artists against apartheid" during "Silver and Gold." I couldn't believe it. The whole concept blew my mind. Segregation in modern society. My best friend was black. How can adult act like this? A lot to take in when you are a cocky 12-year-old, ready to fight for justice and my buddy Kevin. We could perform the whole "Super Bowl Shuffle."

(I once beat the teeth out of a punk who called Kevin the N-word during an elementary school track meet. Right there on the infield during the softball toss. Parents were horrified. I felt great).

In junior high, we went on a field trip (God the bless whoever invented the concept of the field trip.) to the Pike Place Market. While there, I bought a little button that read "BAN APARTHEID." White lettering on a black background. That little badge found a proud place on my jackets for a few years. I thought I was the coolest kid in a 25 mile radius. On the side of justice and equality. "You don't know what apartheid is, 14-year-old kid in the lunchroom, well let me tell you about it. FREE NELSON MANDELA!" Okay, that didn't happen, but the rest of the story is true.

When Mandela was finally released in 1990, I wept. I was 15-years-old, but already cynical. This was a victory for the side of justice.

God Bless you, Mr, Mandela. Earth owes you a thank you today. For your inspiration and and in the abolition of apartheid.

Thank you Mr. Mandela.

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1 Comment

Right on. Maybe the "3" was a typo, but he was actually imprisoned for almost THIRTY years, much of it doing hard labor. That guy truly deserves all the accolades he's gotten since then.

said Jeem on February 11, 2010 6:25 PM.
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