Remembering Mandela’s “Long Walk to Freedom” at the White House


The President:
There’s nobody in my
lifetime that has had such a profound effect
on how people feel worldwide about the possibilities
of the human spirit than Nelson Mandela. Zindzi Mandela:
Here we are. I know that my father
inspired him tremendously. And here we are with
these two histories merging, to be hosted here
by President Obama, and for an event that talks
about the legacy of my father, which has inspired him as well. I just — this mixture
of all these histories and emotions coming together is something that I’m
very honored to be a part of. The President:
When he walked out
to a new South Africa, it was around the
same time, obviously, that the Berlin Wall came down. And I think, for so many of us,
there was this incredible sense that the human spirit
can’t be contained forever, that eventually truth
and justice will win out. Idris Elba:
He sacrificed to make
a statement about freedom, and I think
it’s really important that young people
see that, you know, not that long ago, someone had to make that sort of
a statement and that sacrifice. Zindzi Mandela:
I think the greatest — the greatest part of his legacy is how he has demonstrated
how the human spirit can triumph over adversity, and that’s what it’s all about. Donald Gips:
I wear this bracelet which
has his prison number on it to remind myself of how you
live a life and how you lead. He’s a man who spent
27 years in prison, is freed, and forgives his captors
and provides leadership. And in a world where
we’re too divided, we need more leaders like
Nelson Mandela to remind us that our responsibility
is to bring people together.

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