Nelson Mandela: Inspirational Activist

Discrimination and segregation started during the early 1700’s when European settlements were happening. The South African Union was now being formed by british colonies. When the colonies took over the Union the discrimination and segregation became worse than it already was. Many black Africans wanted to assert their rights at the same when the British colonies were segregating. It became very hard to let their voices be heard. In the early 1600’s and over the years Nelson Mandela became an important figure in history for trying to end discrimination and segregation in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela was born of tribal royalty. Mandela went to school at the university of Fort Hare for South Africans. He became a political activist and organized student protests. In 1940 he was expelled for participating in student strikes. He moved to Johannesburg and started studying law. Mandela then encountered the ANC. The ANC was formed by 7 young activists and they created an organization. This organization became known as the African National Congress. In 1952 the Pass Laws Act was formed. Segregation guaranteed white dominance and it deliberately created unequal facilities for jobs, education, and housing for the Africans.

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Treatment worsened for the Africans after apartheid was legalized. The ANC drafted a freedom chart that declared human and civil rights. In December 1956 Mandela was a arrested for treason along with 155 other people. After the trial ended Mandela worked to organize a national strike in 1961. He traveled to other African Nations to gain support for the ANC. On the way back from his travels he was arrested at a police checkpoint. He was charged for leaving the country without a passport and for having workers from different areas to strike. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison. During his imprisonment he was also charged with sabotage. They raided the MK headquarters and found documents that Mandela said he had. He then was sentenced to life in prison on june 11,1964.

Mandela went to prison on Robben island where he would spend most of his sentence. The prison was known for their harsh conditions and cruel treatments. The guards would yell racial slurs and beat the prisoners. Mandela was only allowed to have one visitor and send one letter every 6 months. While in prison Mandela stood openly opposed to racism. He fought for better treatment for the prisoners. He was finally elected as the voice for prisoners. After his voice was heard the prisoners got better treatment. They received better food and they were able to play different games.

International and national media forgot about Mandela for awhile. Over a period of time anti apartheid gained international attention. Many anti apartheid activists, including Mandela were in prison, many black africans were exiled.

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