Showing posts from December, 2013

Nelson Mandela And How He Changed My Life

It was February 11, 1990, ten days after my sixth birthday. Even at that young age I was aware of politics and justice way beyond my years. I thank my grandmother who was herself deeply involved in equality herself. She having attended Megdar Evers College with Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X's wife years before. On the television in front of me I was watching Nelson Mandela walk out of jail after 27 years. As a young boy I knew that I was watching history and would never see something like it again. This man was important to me even at six years old. Years later it became clear to me why he was.

As Mandela continued his path to the presidency of South Africa and beyond I marveled at what he was able to do. His work on ending apartheid inspired in me the belief that being a servant of the people and aiming to create equality was not only noble but necessary. As I navigated the worlds of predominantly black and brown schools and then predominantly white schools Nelson Mandela's work b…