Those were the words of great man─a man who was born on an ordinary July day in South Africa. July 18, 1918 would be the beginning of life for a man who would positively impact human rights for his country and the international community as a whole. Rolihlahla Mandela, known more commonly by either his Christian name Nelson Mandela or his native tribe name Madiba, was born into a poverty stricken, South African indigenous tribe. Mandela would begin actively advocating for human rights in 1942 at the age of 24 and would continue to pursue his life mission for a world of equality until his recent passing on December 5, 2013.
South Africa gained its independence from England in 1934. However, the South African indigenous communities continued to be oppressed under the control of white minority citizens. Mandela was introduced to the African National Congress (ANC) in 1942 and officially became a member in 1944. The ANC was formed to unite the African people and bring social and economic change to Africa (African National Congress, 2011). Embracing the energy and ideas youth can convey when faced with turmoil, Mandela spearheaded the ANCYL (African National Congress Youth League) in 1944 (History.com, 2013). The ANCYL was designed to take a very visible but non-violent approach against racism and segregation in a full-fledged effort to achieve equal citizenship for all South Africans. Mandela envisioned this could be done through boycotts, strikes, civil dis...
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United Nations. (n.d.). Charter of the united nations: Preamble. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/preamble.shtml
United Nations. (2013). Universal declaration of human rights. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/history.shtml
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