Real life rivals fiction in its ability to deliver outcomes totally at odds with what one expects. Nelson Mandela began as a political prisoner and became head of a nation that ignored Black people’s humanity for generations. Mandela could not and did not relent in opposing political forces which instituted systems which barred Black people and other ethnic groups from full citizenship.
Mandela fought and fought against the tyranny of the government and stayed in trouble for doing so. He’s fighting kept him in trouble and brought trouble upon his whole family. His wife and children were were harassed and his wife was locked up on a number of occasions. At times while reading I felt her commitment to the struggle matched his commitment to the struggle and maybe even exceeded it because she was a freedom fighter too bearing consequences for her own activism and his. Nelson never dealt with consequences for Winnie’s actions but she endure persecution from state entities due to his efforts.
An important question which emerged time and time again was how much time and effort do you give to your family compared to the time and effort you give to the improvement of your country? Mandela chose to give his time and effort to his country but he acknowledged the intimacy and the time lost from being with his family from his mother, children, and his wife. It was a significant sacrifice not only for the freedom fighter, Nelson Mandela, but also for his family who had to endure persecution and see their love one incarcerated and at times live with physical ailments at the hands of prison warders.
The life lesson the book sings out lIke a siren is draw a line in the sand. Decide how you will allow people to treat you. This act helps you to reclaim your dignity. Like, John Lewis, you may suffer consequences for this but in the long run it is worth it.
Draw a line in the sand,