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Transcript of Cristian Yoc
In 1944 Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC), a South African political party. Since its founding, the ANC's main goal had been to work to improve conditions and rights for people of color in South Africa. However, its fairly conservative stance had led some members to call for less timid measures. Mandela became one of the ANC's younger and more radical leaders as a member of the ANC's Youth League. He became president of the league in 1951.
In 1962 Mandela was again arrested, this time for leaving South Africa illegally and for inciting strikes. He was sentenced to five years in jail. The following year he was tried with other leaders of Umkhonto weSizwe on a charge of high treason, following a government raid of the group's secret headquarters. Mandela was given a life sentence, which he began serving in the maximum security prison on South Africa's Robben Island.
John M. Morehead High School
On February 11, 1990, Mandela walked out of prison. He received joyful welcomes wherever he went around the world. In 1991 he assumed the presidency of the ANC, which had been given legal status again by the government.
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Transkei, South Africa
South African president and political activist
Nelson Mandela is a South African leader who spent years in prison for opposing apartheid, the policy by which the races were separated and whites were given power over blacks in South Africa.
Upon his release from prison, Mandela became the first president of a black-majority-ruled South Africa in which apartheid was officially ended.
Presidency and retirement
As president, Mandela worked to ease the dangerous political differences in his country and to build up the South African economy. To a remarkable degree he was successful in his aims. Mandela's skill at building compromise and his enormous personal authority helped him lead the transition to democracy. In an effort to help the country heal, he also backed the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission which offered amnesty (exemption from criminal prosecution) to those who had committed crimes during the apartheid era. This action helped to promote discussion about the country's history.
For More Information
Benson, Mary. Nelson Mandela: The Man and the Movement. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1986.
Harwood, Ronald. Mandela. New York: New American Library, 1987.
Hughes, Libby. Nelson Mandela: Voice of Freedom. New York: Dillon Press, 1992.
Johns, Sheridan, and R. Hunt Davis Jr., eds. Mandela, Tambo, & the African National Congress: The Struggle Against Apartheid, 1948–1990: A Documentary Study. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Mandela, Nelson. Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela. Boston: Little, Brown, 1994.