The moment Nelson Mandela really became Nelson Mandela was on April 20th, 1964 – fifty years ago today. It happened when he stood up in a stuffy South African courtroom and gave a speech.
50 years is a long time. It’s long enough for things to become history. Long enough that people start to be forgotten, stories get smoothed over, narratives get hardened in stone. That’s what happened this past December with the death of Nelson Mandela. His life story was written… in sharpie.
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