Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

Nelson MandelaToday is former South African president Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday! In honor of his birthday, today has been declared Mandela Day in South Africa, and the former president has called on his fans and supporters around the world to spend time time “doing good” today.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for fighting apartheid, the institutionalized racial segregation in South Africa which lasted from 1948 – 1994. Mandela was released from prison when apartheid ended and became the president for one term in 1999.

Mandela Day organizers are encouraging people around the world to devote at least a minute for each of the 67 years Mandela campaigned against apartheid to community service.

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When I was a teenager, I watched the movie Cry Freedom (1987) starring Denzel Washington which tells the story of Steven Biko, an anti-apartheid activist who was killed in police custody in 1977 for standing up for his beliefs. The movie made a huge impact on me when I watched it, and has stayed with me today. I highly recommend netflixing it!

To find out more about the work Nelson Mandela is doing today, visit the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

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