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Literature Review: Nelson Mandela Releasement Speech

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On February 11,1990 in Cape Town Nelson Mandela delivered a speech sending gratitude to the millions of people who followed in his footsteps and campaigned for his release. He acknowledged that Cape Town had been his home for nearly three decades and the mass marches have kept the faith of the other political prisoners such as himself. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years under horrible conditions, not able to make a physical impact. He salutes the different organizations such as the African National Congress, and their members plus the combinations of Umkhonto and the South African Communist Party. They all had a way of impacting the world, whether it had been the great marches to freedom or the sacrifice of their own lives. The message was to refine his leadership and show that he does not believe he is better than or has done more than anyone. ‘ I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people.’ (Mandela)

This speech was an international and nation-wide broadcast. The audience for the speech were the South Africans at the time. Mandela addressed every one he possibly could to broaden the ears of his listeners. He wanted to inform them on ways to unify the nation, making it the main purpose of this speech. He wanted to motivate and inspire the citizens to have unity; whites and blacks should be brought together not separated. His tribute to the young adults and wives, mothers, and sisters of the nation was very fundamental. His tribute towards the young adults were for their vitality. Young adult’s experiences through the struggles helped them discover new innovative ways of thinking and execution. The women were also appreciated on how the struggle of the apartheid has kept the strong.

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The division of the nation did not only stop at race. It went deeper and gender was one of those differences that went un-noticed. Women were being told they would not and could not amount to anything but being a housewife. Comments like the those made the women strive harder to show the potential they knew they had. In 2015, the women of South Africa were still being discriminated against. They were paid unequally and would experience place. The women who were not working and were wives or soon to be mothers were even frowned upon. Nelson Mandela joined the ANC in 1943 to unite the African people instead of dividing it. The ANC is still helping; those women back in 2015 have been helped and of joined the ANC. Now, the government of South Africa has 61 women judges, of which 48 are black women.

The division of nation came from the white government not recognizing the black people of South Africa. The Umkhonto we Sizwe was created to challenge that type of government, and make it known how they felt. The Umkhonto was launched as an armed wing of the African National Congress. Members from both the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party, and other organizations made up this armed struggle. Nelson Mandela expressed his condolences for the fellow soldiers of the Umkhonto; Solomon Mahlangu and Ashley Kriel. Solomon Mahlangu, a member of the African National Congress and a ‘Spear of the Nation’ soldier was arrested, charged, and killed. He escaped the overly aggressive police officer that approached him, but before escaping he got into a gun fight leaving two civilians dead and two others wounded. Nelson Mandela partook in the organization of the Umkhonto armed struggle, he acknowledged the price Solomon paid for trying to keep peace while an enraged officer approached him. Solomona Mahlangu died as a proud soldier of ‘The Spear of the Nation.’ The people closest to him were being hurt by his incarceration. Nelson Mandela sent his salutations to his wife and family. He expressed his appreciation to his family for being so strong while he was away in prison. He stated that their loneliness and pain was far more grueling than his own. I hate that both his family and himself had to go almost three decades without being a family, experiencing and overcoming new challenges together. When he was released so many things had occurred and a variety of people were speaking for what they believed. Their beliefs being very similar to Mandela’s continued the brought together instead of separated.

Mandela reminded his audience that the apartheid had no future. It was ended by everyone’s own decisive mass action to build peace and security. The consequences that came along with it was acknowledged. There were millions of homeless and unemployed and the fabric of family life had been shattered. Even though there were complications he felt, that should be drive to continue and express hope to no longer need the armed struggle. He goes on to say ‘No individual leader is able to take on this enormous task on his own’ Everyone as not only a nation but worldwide should work together and fix the problem step by step. Mandela was very determined and passionate about his speech and wanted the citizens to know that they were not in this process alone and had not been. ‘I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.’

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