African American Ministers Leadership Council Statement on the Passing of Nelson Mandela

WASHINGTON –Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, Director of People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Ministers Leadership Council, issued the following statement on the recent passing of South African leader Nelson Mandela:

“The passing of Nelson Mandela is a great loss for people all over the world. His leadership not only led his own country out of a shameful system of oppression, but provided a beacon for those fighting for freedom across the globe.

“Many of our members have had unforgettable experiences of working side by side with President Mandela. It was the cry to ‘Free Mandela’ and to end Apartheid that started my activism for human and civil right in the ‘80s in Louisiana. The joy of seeing the whites of his eyes after his release from bondage during his first trip to the US confirmed there is power in patience and all things do work for good. My favorite word is ‘believe’; his favorite word was ‘forgiveness.’ There is a correlation for those of faith who are prophetic progressive leaders in the legacy of all who believe, forgive and overcome obstacles to justice.

“Even after the end of apartheid, Nelson Mandela, a strong supporter of human rights and dignity, continued to strive for economic justice, for public health, for racial justice, for worldwide peace. His life will  inspire generations to come and will serve as a reminder that the cause to end oppression in all its forms endures.”


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