Nelson Mandela fought a long battle for racial equality for his fellow south African country -- But the impact of that effort was felt well beyond those borders especially here in the United States.... See More
Nelson Mandela fought a long battle for racial equality for his fellow south African country -- But the impact of that effort was felt well beyond those borders especially here in the United States. ABC's Byron Pitts is here with me -- you met mr. -- on his first visit the United States that's right it was 23 years ago in Boston and long before he chatted with a young reporter this historic figure. Moved a nation. Nelson -- Remembered Nelson Mandela's speech he wasn't so much -- oratory skills. And I think -- stop ballot date with destiny but the owner of the story that inspired. The story so familiar and intertwined with America's parents instilled -- very painful. -- they would accept life. He was just four months after he was set free from prison and 99 but Nelson Mandela set foot in America for the first time. Eight city tour started in New York he was -- he loses it Malcolm -- -- were still -- In the Mets had won the World Series all the New York all in one day. Former New York mayor David Dinkins was instrumental in making -- -- Mandela's first stop in America. My mind. Mandela was ten feet -- that would Nelson Mandela was able to achieve demonstrated. What in fact can -- What American who like Mandela knows the high price of equality. Congressman John Lewis and many of those stores -- if Nelson Mandela can do it we can -- and tonight the movie about Mandela's life. Long walk to freedom premiered in London. Those who attended celebrities and royalty -- know Mandela had died until left so to extremely sad and tragic news. The anti apartheid protests in the eighties captivated the new generation college campuses and community and amidst the demonstrations demanding divestment in South Africa here. Was the ongoing violence there in townships like. -- -- And took the story of one man to help America better understand the struggle. One nation. Mandela reminded the world reconciliation. Was more powerful than revenge. Forgiveness is a gift to be given. -- inject those people in -- to go he said briefly I did. But when I was walking out of my. Compound for the last time I said to myself they've had -- 27 years. If you hate them when you get through that door they will still -- If you can proceed through life -- just a portion of Nelson Mandela's humility. You will be a huge success. The audacity of Mandela's rise also inspired a young politician from Illinois. -- Obama met Nelson Mandela when he was just a junior senator here in 2005. In years later his wife had the chance to tell Mandela what he meant to her and the president. You cannot imagine how -- Important -- legacy is to who I am to who my husband is I just said thank you thank you. Thank you. So back during his first visit there was little wonder why watching a 71 year old man dance -- -- so many. It was the walk that proceeded. When I met mr. Mandela there was time for one question mr. Mandela asked what is the one thing in life you know for sure. But that -- -- smiley answered good and evil are constantly at war good -- issues. With defiance and dignity and equal measure Nelson Mandela chips and -- America loved -- and this -- at 4 in the morning your streets of Boston fire thanks very much appreciate it.
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