Baba Mandela passed today after a lengthy illness. Though he was not without faults, he was a great man and a decent human being who loved his people so much he literally gave his liberty for their freedom. He sacrificed his life and his life with his family for the liberation of South Africans through the African National Congress, an organization he, as a young attorney, helped found.
When discussing the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., especially his “I Have a Dream Speech,” what is often missed is his concern for global justice, particularly in Africa. While Dr. King’s outspokenness about the Vietnam War toward the end of his life has been well documented and discussed, his views about the need to support anti-colonialism and anti-Apartheid in Africa is less so.
We arrived in Palestine on Jan. 2, the fourth day of the attacks on Gaza and the day after the murder of Oscar Grant III by the subway police in Oakland.
When I arrived in Rhodesia, 1968 had already been a momentous year in the United States. U.S. setbacks in Vietnam had led Lyndon Johnson to announce his withdrawal from the 1968 presidential campaign. Days later, on April 4, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated on June 5. Meanwhile, Black Power activists in the United States, led by young Blacks like me, were urging Black Americans to be proud of our African heritage. I felt lucky to be in Africa.