“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first Black head of state in South Africa — a feat which would transcend the borders of his country to resonate loudly with millions combating racial injustice in the African Diaspora. Mandela emerged quickly as a leader of the campaign against apartheid — a system which authorized racial segregation of the country’s minority white population, and its overwhelming non-white majority. The South African state successfully enacted these practices through policies and legislation that separated housing and educational developments for white and non-white people, and restricted the mobility of non-white people to areas designated for white occupation. With what can only be described as an uncompromising defiance, Mandela challenged this system on the grounds that it was a violation of the inalienable rights of South Africa’s predominantly Black population.