Scholarly Reflections on the Legacy of Nelson Mandela

“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela 2Five years ago today, the UN General Assembly made the unanimous decision to recognize July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. It was inspired by a call to action made by Mandela himself – for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices. Today, the day represents a global movement to honor his work and change the world for the better.

Here at SAGE, we celebrate this day in part by sharing some important research that discusses the life of Mandela and the lasting impression he has made throughout the globe. We hope that this free collection of articles will inspire academics from all backgrounds to live Mandela’s legacy.

Saths Cooper discusses his time serving in a single-cell block in Robben Island Maximum Security Prison with Nelson Mandela between 1977 and 1982. Read about how Cooper got to know him intimately and had the advantage of seeing him rise to become one of the most inspirational figures in history.

After he passed away, Index on Censorship collected 15 significant articles from their archive that trace the history of the apartheid struggle, and some of the great writers who have commented, argued and analyzed it for the magazine, including Nadine Gordimer and Albie Sachs.

Nelson Mandela had a strong belief about health care access for all. This piece explores how Mandela fought for this basic human right and how it was eventually adopted into South Africa’s new constitution to encourage the improvement of quality of life by eliminating poverty, illiteracy, homelessness, and disease.

This short but powerful piece reflects on Nelson Mandela’s life and his connection to holism. With the focus on Mandela after his 27-year prison confinement, the author discusses how he embraced the connectedness of humankind and the power of forgiveness as he was able to walk out of his confinement without any resentment or hatred.

Until entering Johannesburg in 1941, Nelson Mandela generally did not recognize or resist white oppression. He was destined to be a counselor to the future AbaThembu king, not a leader himself. Nevertheless, after several jarring circumstances, he could not live in a place where Africans were a conquered group of people and thus became involved in the defiance of the regime. This article discusses how Mandela became the anti-apartheid revolutionary he is known for today.

We hope that these articles inspire you to play your own part in taking action and effecting change in honor of Nelson Mandela.


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