Skip to main content

Received this e-mail earlier today from Congressional Candidate Andrew Romanoff (D. CO-06) regarding the recent death of Nelson Mandela:
New Haven is a long way from Pretoria, but that didn’t matter to my classmates and me a quarter of a century ago.

We were camping out in front of Yale’s administration building, in a plywood “shanty-town” erected to dramatize our opposition to apartheid. Like thousands of other students across the country, we demanded that our university divest from companies doing business in South Africa. And we joined a chorus around the world in giving voice to our most fervent wish: to free Nelson Mandela.

President Mandela’s death last week brought that memory vividly to mind. The songs and stories of his courage in the face of evil -- and his decision to pursue reconciliation rather than revenge -- inspire me anew.

As South Africa marks a National Day of Prayer and Reflection, I remember the trip my mother and I made to that country in 2011. From my Cape Town journal:

We visited Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars. His tiny cell still holds a thin mat, a small wooden table, a tin cup and plate. A window casts a small square of light onto the bare floor.

On the other side of the window lies a stone courtyard. Here the future president tended a garden -- and buried his memoir. Flowers grow from the spot where Mandela began his “Long Walk to Freedom.”

We paused at a limestone quarry. Mandela -- “Madiba,” as many South Africans affectionately call him, or “Tata” (Xhosa for father) -- had toiled here too, swinging a pickaxe without protection from the heat, the cold, or the blinding sun. The glare from the white rock marred his eyesight but not his vision.

The man one of his successors would call "South Africa's greatest son" eventually emerged from captivity and liberated the nation that had imprisoned him. Today we are left not only to celebrate his life but also to sustain his legacy.

“There is no passion to be found playing small,” Nelson Mandela said, or “in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” No one could have put -- or proved -- that point any better.


Andrew Romanoff

Mandeal will be missed but his legacy will forever live on.

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Dec 09, 2013 at 12:34 AM PST.

Also republished by Colorado COmmunity, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, and Black Kos community.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site