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Nelson Mandela, What Do You Remember?

Nelson Mandela

Here is where it all began. The place where people started to come together with a memory of the past that just did not jive with the reality of the present. Many have vivid memories of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, dying in prison in the 1980s. They do not just vaguely remember this, either. They are convinced they remember newspaper headlines, and even seeing excerpts of his funeral aired on TV. The death of such an important political figure would have been important.

Who was Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela was a freedom fighter who had a great impact in South African politics. He fought for the equality of all south Africans, and against the national party government whom he felt were unfair to black citizens.

When his father died while Nelson was a child, his mother left him to be raised by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, who prepped him for future leadership, letting him sit in on council meetings, and sending him to the finest schools. During college in 1941, Nelson ran away in order to avoid a pre-arranged marriage. It was at this time when he noticed how racially divided south Africa really was. He began to attend meetings of the African National Congress (ANC), an organization who aimed to establish a democratic government. In 1952, the ANC developed a campaign for the defiance of unjust laws. Nelson gained popularity and political recognition as he traveled and addressed crowds in support of that campaign. The national party government took steps to try to control the protests this campaign was causing, by restricting Nelson Mandela to remain in Johannesburg, and attempting to keep him from participating in any more protests. In 1956 he was arrested, along with 150 other activists and charged with treason. In 1960, the ANC was outlawed by the National Congress. Nelson reacted by bringing his party underground. In reaction to over a hundred blacks killed during a resistance protest, he realized his nonviolent actions were not sufficient. He was arrested again when this underground movement was discovered, and charged with conspiracy to overthrow the government, receiving a life sentence to prison. He was not forgotten. Instead he became a symbol for the movement to end the racial injustices of the current national leaders. During the 1980s, he was offered release from prison repeatedly, if he would renounce violence. Nelson held his ground and refused.

In 1990, the government proclaimed the ANC as legal, and Mandela was released. At age 71, Mandela was named president of the ANC. He was recognized for his work for equality, and earned the Nobel Peace Prize is 1993. In 1994, he ran for president of South Africa and won the election by a landslide.

 

What if?

 

If Nelson Mandela died before ever being released from prison, he would had never moved on to become president of the ANC, and more importantly, President of South Africa. How is it possible that some people insist that these things never happened? This certainly has more of an impact to humanity than quotes in movies, and misspellings of authors. Mandela was responsible for freeing black people from oppression in an entire nation.

A situation like this, though troublesome, would be largely dismissed if we could not communicate with mass numbers through the wonders of the internet. Without the internet, the “Mandela Effect” may have never been born. Are these inconsistencies with the past something new? Or has mankind always experienced similar false memories, and dismissed them as such?

More Research

(Technical hint: by right clicking the links below, you choose the option to open each in a new tab, making it simpler to navigate through your research.)

Nelson Mandela on Wikipedia

Nelson Mandela’s Biography

Fiona Broome’s website, a concise list of comments on the topic of Nelson Mandela’s death.

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