Toward Some More Noble Self

Abby Zimet

It is hard to imagine the world without Nelson Mandela, former prisoner No. 46664, true man of peace and freedom. A moment: He came to Boston in the spring of 1990, newly free from "the long, lonely, wasted years." He was hours late. The massive crowd waited, huddled, patient as Ladysmith Black Mambazo sang for us. Finally, Mandela appeared, radiant, and took the stage. The crowd grew thunderous. And the great man danced a bit. The people roared. The hero grinned. It was perfect, the most electrifying moment ever. It was like nothing else, except, perhaps, how some describe one of his last great public moments, when he appeared at the 2010 World Cup final in Johannesburg to rapturous acclaim, marching "headlong into a bastion of white Afrikanerdom (and) made its followers feel they belonged in the new South Africa." One man did so much. One man cannot do everything -  South Africa still confronts huge problems. May Mandela's work, grace, strength and legacy live on; may his people abide; may he have peace. From his several foundations: "It is in our hands now."


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