Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela, Rest in Peace and Power

Yesterday, our dear beloved brother Nelson Mandela joined the ancestors. The Washington Post reports that:
Flags across several continents fell to half staff early Friday, and South Africans poured into the streets at daybreak in mourning for Nelson Mandela, a liberator whose life spanned nearly a century and whose model for dignity and peace-making was admired across the world.

The death Thursday of Mandela, 95 and long ill, was at once thoroughly foretold and unexpectedly jarring, as people recalled his graceful leadership through what appeared to be an intractable racial crisis in South Africa and his ability to embody hope for moral progress in a beleaguered and often-unjust world. Mandela’s death spurred the rarest of outpourings — one nearly universal and unanimous. Mandela’s face appeared on newspaper front pages from Berlin to Beirut, often with just a few somber words and the years of his life: 1918-2013. His death spurred social media tributes in the United States and China.

I remember when Nelson Mandela came to Detroit, my hometown. My family and I listened to him speak at Tiger Stadium. He is one of my heroes. I admire his courage and sacrifice. He boldly fought to end Apartheid in South Africa. The brother and the African National Congress waged armed struggle against the racism regime. Despite being incarcerated for 27 years, Mandela maintained his commitment and dignity. After being released from prison, Mandela become South Africa's first black president.

Instead of mourning his death, we should celebrate his life and follow his courageous example. Stand up for freedom, justice and equality.  Dear brother Nelson Mandela, rest in peace and power.

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