This past week, people around the world remembered and celebrated the life of the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, who passed away on December 5, 2013, following a series of health problems.
Mandela, despite not being an American politician himself, curated a legacy that has touched people around the world. In a sense, his legacy and philosophies made him a world leader, not just a leader in South Africa.
Mandela was a trained lawyer, who became involved in anti-colonial politics when he joined the African National Congress (ANC), working against the apartheid system (racial segregation), which was common in the nation at the time, due to a government controlled by white men. In the early 1960's, Mandela was arrested and convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, leading to a 27-year prison sentence. A long, international campaign soon began for his release, which was finally granted in 1990.
Mandela was eventually named South Africa's first black president, establishing multiracial policies, and finally abolishing apartheid. He has become an international symbol of hope and tolerance, for millions around the world. In the wake of his passing, politicians and public figures from around the world have come forward to pay their respects to a man whose influence has reached well beyond South Africa.
Although Mandela has passed away, his legacy will undoubtedly continue to impact the world.