Brief analysis of the A&E Biography film, "Nelson Mandela: Journey to Freedom", and how it will affect my trip to South Africa.

Essay by cjberminghamUniversity, Master'sA+, March 2006

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The A&E Biography film, Nelson Mandela: Journey to Freedom, chronicles the life of Nelson Mandela as he experiences oppression, struggle, and imprisonment for his efforts to free his people. Born into royalty in South Africa in 1918, Rolihlahla Mandela was the son of the principal councilor to the Acting Paramount Chief of Thembuland. Upon his father's death, Rolihlahla became the ward of the Paramount Chief, which influenced his career. He was later given the name Nelson by a teacher who could not pronounce his name. After primary and secondary school, Mandela went to college where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree and served on student government. He officially entered politics in Johannesburg in 1942 by joining the African National Congress. He went on to become a driving force behind the African National Congress Youth League, which was started in 1944 with the mission of implementing political tactics to achieve national emancipation that the ANC was not effective in implementing.

He opened a law practice with Oliver Tambo in 1952, and defended thousands of black South Africans in cases of white oppression. In 1964, he was sentenced to life in prison for organizing a three-day national strike in 1961. Following the suspension of executions, the un-banning of the ANC, and the removal of restrictions on political groups, Mandela was released from prison in 1990. He then became president of the ANC in 1991.

Several of the insights I acquired while watching this film will influence my attitude toward the areas we visit, the people we meet, and the businesses we visit. I was surprised to see how Nelson Mandela was actually born into a tribe, and was next in line to become a tribal chief. It is very interesting how Mandela grew up to be president and one the...