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Word Count: 377
Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela led the African National Congress a black liberation group that opposed South Africas white minority government and apartheid Mandela was initially opposed to violence but after a massacre of unarmed black South Africans in 1962 he began advocating acts of sabotage against the government I have fought against white denomination and I have fought against black denomination I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve But if needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die In 1962 Mandela began a twenty-seven year stay in prison Most of his confinement was spent during hard labor at the notorious Robben Island maximum-security prison During his imprisonment Mandela became a symbol of the anti-apartheid movement among South Africas black population and among the international community that opposed apartheid Mandela rejected several government offers to allow him to leave prison on the condition that he renounce violence In February 11 of 1990 after 27 years of imprisonment Mandela was released from prison and instantly became an international celebrity On May 1994 he was elected unopposed as President of South Africa in the first session of the National Assembly Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 with FW deKlerk South Africas last white president Their combined efforts ended apartheid and brought about a peaceful transition to nonracial democracy in South Africa Three years after his release South Africans of all races were allowed to vote for the first time in a national election They selected Mandela as their president giving him 62 of the vote The same person who once was a symbol of black resistance in South Africa later eventually because the nations first
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