Nelson Mandela

Moneta Sleet Jr. /Ebony Collection

Former South African President Nelson Mandela would have turned 100 today, July 18. He passed away in December 2013 at the age of 95, having led a remarkable life as an anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist.

In 1948, Mandela led protests against apartheid, a system of institutionalized racial segregation and discrimination that lasted in South Africa until the early 1990s. He was arrested for his opposition to many of the government’s policies and sentenced to life in prison in 1962. Mandela spent 27 years behind bars until his release in February 1990.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was elected as first Black president of South Africa in 1994, a position he held before stepping down five years later.

Mandela’s consistent fight against injustice set an example of courage, resistance, change and forgiveness. Former U.S. President Barack Obama gave a exceptional speech defending unity at Mandela’s centenary in Johannesburg yesterday, July 17. “Madiba reminds us that no one is born hating another person because the color of his skin… People must learn to hate. And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart,” he said, drawing from Mandela’s life to continue to push a message of equality and progress.



Take a look at the list below of other prominent figures who paid tribute to Madiba.

Steve Harvey

Bill Clinton

Tim Cook

Barack Obama

Malala Yousafzai

Bill Gates

Michael Jackson Estate

Shonda Rhimes

Common

Kamala Harris

T.I.

Wyclef Jean



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