97. The Great Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-Apartheid activist, human rights advocate, whose life had a profound on American culture. Mandela served as president of Africa from 1994 through 1999, but his story decades earlier. His life’s work was to bring Africa into mainstream 20th Century thinking by ending .

Apartheid was a system of South African government was based on racial segregation between the minority population and black South Africans. It was a form of government that was in effect from to 1994, and caused great social turmoil. The was put into place following World War II, racial segregation began much earlier in the country. separated South Africans by race by placing people four classifications: white, black, coloured, and Indian. Each had different levels of privilege, with white South being the most favored.

From 1960 to 1983, .5 million black South Africans were forcibly removed from homes; in 1970, all non-white politicians were removed government. Mandela’s move to end Apartheid began in when he supported, and organized non-violent boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience. He was arrested, and charged with in 1956 for his role in the social , and was eventually jailed for 27 years. During time, most of the countries in the world for his release, and placed trade embargos against white regime.

The country finally gave in to pressure, and released Mandela. He became an international for peaceful demonstration, and for his humanitarian work perseverance. He was elected President of South Africa 1994, serving for six years. Mandela died in , 2013.