In every era, there are several men and women born who make the unthinkable thinkable, but rare and far in between are those who make the once thinkable utterly unthinkable. Nelson Mandela was one of these extraordinary people, a man… Read More ›
At least one generation of intellectuals had stood against apartheid and reflected on Mandela as a political figure of freedom and liberation. Mandela never produced anything equivalent to the political writings of a Gramsci, Fanon, or Césaire. Because of the media and the global support for the struggles he led, Mandela acquired a resonance with effects across the globe. His career, with all its changes, posed challenges for thinking about politics.
I recall almost nothing between the years of 1986 and 1990. Or, I recall only a few things that I recall very well. My first car was a white Datsun B-210 with an END APARTHEID sticker placed carefully on the… Read More ›
Nelson Mandela was one of the world’s most important twentieth-century political prisoners. At a moment when world politics was in the throes of the “Cold War,” Mandela’s imprisonment focused much of the world’s attention on the authoritarian racial system in… Read More ›
I first met Mandela in 1991 in Johannesburg, at the offices of the ANC during my visit to South Africa, while a guest of the Congress of South African writers, who had invited me to talk at various community centers… Read More ›
Nelson Mandela’s incarceration in 1964, under a life sentence threatening two decades of work and his personal well-being as a forty-six-year-old South African political activist, coincided with the escalation of Lyndon Johnson’s genocidal aggression in Vietnam. Johnson’s campaign of implacable… Read More ›
Mandela’s funeral was on December 15, the same day that final votes were cast for the American Studies Association resolution answering “the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott.” That resolution also “supports the protected rights of students and… Read More ›