Nelson Mandela Prisoner to Freedom Essay

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“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison” (Mandela). In recent times, since Mandela’s death, his renowned views on leadership have been of great debate around the world. To most, he was the first president of South Africa, a respected and courageous leader, but before that he was a convicted terrorist. His “hatred for the oppressor” taught him to forgive and forget and to emerge from prison as a better man. Twenty-seven years in prison didn’t change Mandela’s stance on racial oppression, and throughout his sentence, he became a martyr for equal rights and freedom.
Growing up in the Xhosas community, Mandela learned through observation. Like many others, “[his] life…was shaped by customs, rituals, and taboo” (Long Walk to Freedom). Being raised in a society full of corrupt government officials, Mandela leaned toward social equality even from an early age. In 1962, Mandela was arrested during the Rivonia Trial for a conspiracy of overthrowing the government. He was given a five year sentence at Pretoria as a local prisoner on November 7th for attempting to leave the country without his passport, and incitement. On May 27th 1963, Mandela was transferred to Robben Island, where he would spend eighteen years of his life imprisonment after being convicted of sabotage on June 11, 1964.
On Robben Island, Mandela was known by his prison numbers, “46664”. Every morning…

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