Nelson Mandela (1918 to 2013)

In Senior Current Issues we will spend this final week of 2013 looking closely at the life of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.  We’ll 0001weuse various documentary and news stories that will hopefully provide you the background of South African apartheid as well chronicle the life of the man.  Mandela’s history is so intertwined with that of his country and the treatment of his people, that in order to understand his impact on the world you must educate yourself first to the world that he lived in.

That may be asking a lot in a single week; so ask questions, work together, listen and learn.  This is a life that we should all be Awakened to; even if that awareness initiates upon his death.

  • Schedule for the week: 
  • Monday 12/16 – Miracle Rising (27:00)
  • Tuesday 12/17 – Rachel Maddow (15:00) & Frontline Part 1
  • Wednesday 12/18 – Frontline Part II
  • Thursday 12/19 – Sixty Minutes (13:00) & Frontline Part III 
  • Friday 12/20 – Frontline Part IV

Video summations below:

Go here for an intimate look at the life of Brenda Fassie – “The Madonna of the Townships.”

1 – Go here.  We will use Frontline’s two hour biography “The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela” originally broadcast in 1998, as core to this research.   “The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela” tells the story of the man behind the myth, probing Mandela’s character, leadership and life’s method through intimate recollections with friends, political allies, adversaries, and his fellow prisoners and jailers on Robben Island where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 prison years.  We’ll watch and discuss Frontline in four 30:00 segments.  Notate on your timeline along the way.

In order to break things up a bit and provide context to the world in which Mandela lived, we’ll view short pieces that address apartheid, truth and reconciliation, worldwide divestiture and issues surrounding each.  These lessons will be interjected into the Frontline chapters.  If you are absent on any of the given days…please stay on course by catching up online. 

2 – Go here – for a youtube link to  “Miracle Rising; South Africa” (we’ll watch the first 27:00).   The documentary, released by The History Channel UK (online link) in February of 2013, traces South Africa’s political transformation that culminated in the first free and fair elections in April 1994. Narrated through personal and intimate accounts from world leaders, politicians, celebrities and journalists, you will be introduced to apartheid, truth and reconciliation, and the opinion of people who influenced and who were influenced by Mandela.

3 – Go hereRachel Maddow (15:00) does a great job in addressing the history of Apartheid in a brief fifteen minute clip.  She does a particularly good job explaining the pass laws.  Written Assignment #1 will spin off of the Maddow show and added online links.

4 – Go hereSixty Minutes – (13:00) Nelson Mandela in his own words,” studies Mandela through his own writings.  This story is personal and looks at Nelson, the father, husband, cell mate, and friend.

5 – Go hereDemocracy Now – (31:30 to 50:00) This twenty minute segment is very very cool.  It looks back at how African-American workers at Polaroid in Massachusetts helped launch the divestment movement against apartheid South Africa in the early 1970s.  DN speaks with Caroline Hunter, co-founder of the Polaroid Workers Revolutionary Movement, who stumbled upon evidence that her employer was providing the camera system to the South African state to produce photographs for the infamous passbooks for black residents. Hunter and her late husband, Ken Williams, then launched a boycott of the company. The boycott and divestment campaign ultimately grew to target other corporations in apartheid South Africa, including General Motors and Barclays Bank, among others. By 1977, Polaroid finally withdrew from South Africa.  Written assignment #2 deals with this post.

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