Nelson Mandela Spark Notes

This essay has a total of 1092 words and 4 pages.

Nelson Mandela

"There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the
valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountain top of our
desires". These are the words of a man, Nelson Mandela, who fought for something that many
would shy away from. He led the anti-apartheid movement, became the president of the
African National Congress Youth League, and later became the president of South Africa
winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

1942 started Nelson Mandela's participation in the racial oppression in South Africa. He
joined the African National Congress (ANC), led by Anton Lembede. In 1944, Mandela joined
up with Walter Sisulu, William Nkomo, Oliver R. Tambo, and Ashby P. Mda to form the
African National Congress Youth League. Quickly, Mandela became the secretary of the ANCYL
in 1947 because of his consistent effort and disciplined work. In 1949 the Programme of
Action was accepted as authorized ANC policy. The Programme of Action supported boycott,
strike, civil disobedience, and non-co-operation. Nelson Mandela became the president of
the ANCYL in 1952. "Under his leadership the ANC began sponsoring nonviolent protests,
strikes, boycotts, marches, and other acts of civil disobedience and in the process
becoming a target to police harassment and arrest." This came to be known as the Defiance
Campaign. This marked the beginning of mass resistance to apartheid. In 1959 a small group
of ANC members broke off and started their own group called the Pan Africanist Congress
(PAC). And on March 21, 1960, 20,000 PAC protesters left there homes without passes and
joined together in Sharpeville. The police, thinking that the group would become
unfriendly, opened fire on the protesters. Sixty-Nine Blacks were killed and another 186
were wounded. After this attack, the South African Government outlawed the ANC and PAC
organizations. But this would not stop Mandela and his companions from fighting the
apartheid. In 1961 Mandela helped establish the ANC's military wing, known as the Umkhonto
we Sizwe -Spear of the Nation-, also known as the M-plan or MK plan named after Mandela
himself. He was named its commander in chief and was sent to Algeria for military
training. In that time 200 acts of sabotage took place.

When he returned in 1962, he was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison for
illegal exit from the country and the fear of becoming too powerful from the white
government inside his hideout just outside of Johannesburg. In Mandela's autobiography,
Long Walk To Freedom, he described his arrest:

At 1:30 in the morning on 30 March I was awakened by sharp, unfriendly knocks at my door,
the unmistakable signature of the police. ‘The time has come,' I said to myself as I
opened the door to find half-a-dozen armed security policemen. They turned the house
upside down, taking virtually every piece of paper they could find. I was then arrested
without a warrant, and given no opportunity to call my lawyer. They refused to inform my
wife as to where I was being taken. I simply nodded at Winnie; it was no time for words of
comfort.(pg.239)


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