So we made a thoroughfare for Freedom and her train, Sixty miles in latitude, three hundred to the main; Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain, While we were marching through Georgia. We bring the jubilee! The Flag that makes you free!
Mandela and the African liberation struggle: Ubuntu and the emancipation of humans everywhere Published by CounterpunchDecember 12, On Thursday December 5, the people of South Africa lost one of the foremost freedom fighters and revolutionary who made his mark on humans everywhere.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in South Africa in and matured as Africans in South Africa rose to the challenges posed by the most brutal social and economic system of that moment, the system called apartheid.
Mandela has now joined the ancestors and he has left his mark beside those great humans such as Mahatmas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Umm Kulthum, Che Guevara and Rosa Luxemburg whose greatness emerged from the movements that created them.
The forms of struggle that emerged from South Africa inspired the refinement of the philosophy of Ubuntu. When the movement elevated Nelson Mandela to the position as President of a politically free South Africa inafter 27 years of incarceration, the political leadership of South Africa sought to give practical meaning to the philosophy of Ubuntu by establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission TRC.
In the process of the wall to wall media coverage of the celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela, it is important that the voice of Africa is clear on the meaning of Mandela.
Mandela was against racism and the dehumanizing social system that created hierarchies. As peace activists it is vital that we remember Mandela as a defender of peace and social justice and the fact that he was an extraordinary human being.
What is important to remember is a product of a social movement; the extraordinary circumstances of the oppression of apartheid created this Mandela. Mandela joined a social movement, the anti-apartheid movement and for a moment in history, he became the symbol of the struggle against war and apartheid.
His freedom came from the sacrifices of millions, especially the youth of Soweto and the workers from the Mass Democratic Movement who laid down a marker for the new tactics of revolution.
While he was the President of South Africa, Mandela worked for peace in Burundi and Central Africa and worked hard to end the western manipulation of who can be branded as a terrorist. I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people.
The African National Congress in government had been trapped by its inheritance of the social capital of the apartheid state. New forms of organization and new ideas will be needed as humans gird themselves to fight against the nefarious forms of racism, exclusion and oppression that have been refined by global capital as unbridled capitalism seeks to turn our youths into mindless consumers.
It is up to the youth to gird themselves for the new phase of internationalism and peace activism so that we can create the conditions for the inspiration presented by the life of Nelson Mandela to be grasped in all corners of the globe.
Mandela lived a full life and we want to add to the tributes as we celebrate his life of struggle. The society that created Nelson Mandela As soon as it became clear that the most obscene forms of white supremacy could not survive after the massive resistance of peoples in all parts of the globe, international news programmers began to present Nelson Mandela who, as a visionary leader, single handedly ended apartheid.
Books, films, documentaries, blogs and other mainstream media seek to present the changes in South Africa without reference to the reality that Nelson Mandela always represented a liberation movement. Inevitably, as the movement mobilized around the release of Nelson Mandela when he had been incarcerated for 27 years, Mandela became a symbol of the anti-apartheid struggle.
As the struggle matured in the final phase after his release from jail on February 11, the myth making was developed as part of an election campaign.
It is this mythmaking that ensured the positive and the negative in the representation of Nelson Mandela to a generation that was not yet born when the liberation struggles were at the peak. When Mandela was born in the village of Qunu, in the province that was called Cape Province, the Union of South Africa had been formed eight years earlier.
The Union government had celebrated the crushing of the Bambata rebellions and in the face of the failure of open military rebellions by regional military forces, the African National Congress had been formed in It was in the midst of this depression when the capitalists of South Africa refined the repression of black mine workers and inculcated in white workers the idea that they whites were not workers but from a superior race.
With the villages of South Africa and the wider region of Southern Africa providing cheap labour for the mines, mining capital reaped super profits at a moment when the instability in the international monetary system required a steady supply of gold from South Africa.
The royal families of the pre —Union society could not escape the effects of the deformities of segregation and dehumanization. Missionaries were deployed to teach sons of chiefs and it was from one of the missionaries that Mandela received the name Nelson because the missionaries had difficulties saying Rolihlahla.
After this missionary education Mandela was sent to Fort Hare University and it was in this University where the other famous anti-apartheid and anti-colonial stalwarts were groomed. As an activist he was expelled from Fort Hare and he went on to study Law at the University of Witwatersrand.
This youth wing joined the hundreds of anti-colonial movements all over the world and when the repressive legal structures of apartheid were formalised to support the social divisions, the peoples responded with a Freedom Charter. Mandela was one of the co-founders of MK and he received training in many African countries before he returned to South Africa.
Self Organization of the Youth of Soweto South West Johannesburg Soweto was one of those dormitory towns that were a reservoir of cheap labour for the rich and middle class whites in the suburbs of Johannesburg. The US military and intelligence agencies worked hand in glove with the apartheid military to crush opposition from the African majority.
From the workers of Durban had given notice that there would be new organizational forms to oppose apartheid and the youth of Soweto followed with the massive uprisings of These rebellions are central to the kind of politics that developed in the period when Mandela was incarcerated after the Rivonia trials in The sacrifices of the youth and their determination had created new alliances and these alliances matured in the Mass Democratic Movement and the United Democratic Front UDF.
While Nelson Mandela as a lawyer had been groomed to focus on the legal questions of the apartheid laws, the social questions of health, education, housing, police brutality placed the fight against apartheid on a new terrain as the ANC worked to remain alive in the heat of the conservative push of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
The formation of the UDF had provided for an alternative source of political power at the grassroots and strengthened the capacity of the resistance to transform their conception of the long term struggles to create an alternative to the social system.The Apartheid Museum opened in and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story.
The Mayor of San Jose, California Sam Liccardo.
(Photo: Courtesy of EAC) Tadias Magazine By Tadias Staff. September 4th, New York (TADIAS) — Every September for the last fourteen years, rain or shine, the city of San Jose in California has formally honored the heritage of its vibrant Ethiopian American residents with a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall in recognition of the Ethiopian.
Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University. His recent book is Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya.
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