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Former South African President Nelson Mandela left an indelible mark on the world with his courageous fight against Apartheid and racial oppression. Convicted of treason as a young freedom fighter advocating armed resistance, he emerged as an elder statesman advocating non violence. As South Africa's first black president, he initiated reconciliation with those who had responsible for cruelty and abuse of black South Africans. He received a Nobel Peace Prize. But, what have we learned from the life of Nelson Mandela? Across the world many people are protesting oppressive government policies, even in countries that publicly claim to be democratic. Can non-violence really work to bring about fairness and justice? Or is some level of armed resistance necessary? How do the grass roots people change the hearts of those in power who are insensitive to their suffering?
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