>> which is where i met mr. mandela when i was with jesse jackson. >> what was that like. >> this is a man whose mind is so sharp. in that in his voice, hello. are you happy to see me today. i said i am sir, i am here to see you today. he was eating breakfast, and reading newspapers in four different languages. reading in zulu, reading in english, it was really remarkable. how sharp his mind was, if i can only be that sharp at that age. >> clearly, when i look at a picture like that of you, and this group that had come to see nelson mandela. >> his life was pretty
great then. >> obviously, you weren't around when a lot of the bad things happen. >> you are showing my age, john. i think yo are showing my life. as i mentioned to you elier, this was very symbolic especially because he is from a tribe i guess what i was getting at with the age thing there are certain people that really didn't experience the civil rights movement in the united states.
they see this as a landscape of opportunity, and there is room for growth. and so i knew about that, as a young person, in the 90's and i grew up in the south, so in 90s in the south, you can still had a great deal of racial tension. and my parents made sure i knew about nelson, and i think my schoolmates did as welt. >> so it is so personal to so many people. including african-americans in the united states. because there are sort of in some ways parallel tracts. talk about the u.s., and apartheid in south africa, right? >> we picketed with with them. we were there.
>> that swept college campuses at that time, the first time he ever spoke to a public audience, he had said many times was on behalf of nelson mandela and the antiapartheid movement. he came to the briefing room, he spoke very eloquently. here is more of what he had to say. >> at his trial in 1964. nelson mandela closed a statement from the dock, says i have fought against white domination. uh it is an ideal which i
hope to live for, and to achieve. but if needs be, it is an ideal for which i'm prepared to die. >> nelson mandela. made it real. he achieved more than could be expected of any man. today he has gone home. and we have lost one of the most influential courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. he no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages. >> as a newly elected senator in 2005, senator obama ma now president obama of course met with nelson mandela. in 2006, as a senator. barack obama went to south africa, he visited rock bib island, and then
just last summer, he was in south africa unable to meet face to face with nelson mandela, because of the leaders ailing health. he did meet with his family, he came away very move bid the experience. another thing that president obama comes back to over and over again, if you look at the literature, what he has written and said about his relationship and now he looks up to him, the way he behaves when he was removed to prison, instead of retribution and revenge against those that held him captive, he embraced them. you know i am really struck by number of things -- especially african-americans and nelson mandela. and you can sort of feel
it in the words of the president of the united states. s there a sense about the relationship that president obama has said with this man? >> well, i think in the brief time -- and they have only met once. but obviously the resonance between these two men, to the old her statesman, this man who gave up so much for the cause of racial equality, it is almost too obvious to state. itch time you see them over the years, they are prevalent and plentiful, president obama has spoke very reverentially of nelson mandela, quite obviously, an inspiration to this man that occupied
the wilding behind us. >> thanks a lot. joining us now is the reverend jesse jackson. he is in birmingham england tonight, and we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. good to see you, thank you very much. >> yes, sir. >> we have been talking about the parallel lines and apart tide in south africa. what did nelson mandela mean in the civil rights and around the world. between u.s. civil rights struggle and the south african struggle. act the work, he was jailed and stabbed, and killed at 39.
mr. mandela struggling he was jailed for 27 years. and choosing reconciliation over retribution. so they both have that moral character about them. mr. obama, on the other hand, he was a benefactor. so he come as generation behind, but dr. kick, and mr. mandela, and and drink king were also trance forty figures. >> we just saw a picture of you, with one of my colleague morgan ratford who got the chance to meet nelson mandela for the first time. tell me about the man you knew? >> your know, i must say when i was in cape town south africa, my son and
i met him at the door, and he immediately recognized me and called my name. i was just overwhelmed. he knew what was going on. he was alive and alert. he didn't just read the speech that day. he at was a great debate. every time we have a private conversation whether it's my office or my home, they always were overwhelmed by the and breadth of his concerning interest. he also did not owe his politics because of his popularity. he kept reaching out to cuba, and castro, and why are you guys have empargo on 50 million people, and then -- why -- i remember sometimes you reach out to castro, -- mr. mandela
said in effect, well, i am, because they reached out to me when knives jail before you did. creating this one big world of freedom and justice. we can learn something about his values. >> your friend, martin luther king jr. had such an impact on the world as well. >> what was the connection between these two leaders. one connection, they are both fighting the systems. and both prevailed in the political sense. but also because dr. king was in jail for a short period of time, and out of that came the voting rights act, which redefined america's -- 18-year-olds couldn't
vote, you couldn't vote on college campuses, you could not vote bilingually, when all of that got involved it changed american politics. that coalition led to the sanctions against south africa, so that the work was in parallel, but the american -- our freedom fist gave us the inside tract on freeing south africa, and they are quite aware of our kinship. >> because the civil rights movement had move far ahead when the whole digestion which you say campaign -- >> but civil rights was still very much a big issue in the united states. >> and it still is. racism, and violence, are still bread in our country. we have jailed overwhelming kids who are
18 to 22 years old, with five-grams of crack, and $14 billion in fines and nobody is charged with a criminal charge. so we still have these massive gaps of how the justice system is applied. we are not out of the water yet on ratism, and poverty, and violence. these two pull on the walls and that made the new bridges possible. >> reverend jackson, i am learning now that you are in birmingham, alabama, not birmingham, england, but it is a pleasure to talk to you. >> i am in birmingham england -- >> i'm birmingham england. >> i got it wrong twice. >> reverend jackson, it is great to talk with you, whichever birmingham you are in, thank you very much. well this is a scene outside a family's home in johannesburg, nelson mandela the first president of south africa has died surrounded by
his wife and family. he was 95, and from there around the world peaking are paying tribute to the freedom fighter. two images are striking. joining us now, in washington, d.c., i do know she is in washington. she serves as ambassador to nigeria, and the republic of congo. and she has met nelson mandela twice. it is good to see you, what was it like to meet nelson mandela? >> it was one of those things that you never forget in your life. in fact, i was speaking with my mom this evening when i heard the news, and all of those memories came back to me. i had the opportunity to meet him, when he first traveled out of south africa, he came to the independent of that -- one of the first meetings that he ever had with secretary baker was there. and tiffs note taker at that meeting. not only was mandela there, oliver teem bow, it was a historic legacy
meeting, very symbolic of his life. >> you know, reverend jackson talked about the issues of poverty. and while apartheid is gone, the legacy -- talk about the legacy of apartheid in south africa? >> well, i think the legacy in south africa really transformed the country in so many ways. i think if you go to south africa now, and you talk to young people, they know the legend and the legacy, because he did come out of a very inhumane environment. and brought so much humility to the world and the country. and i think that south africans are proud of that. and i think the world should be proud of that. i think those are the three messages that provide to the world at large. >> and you were ambassador to the republic of congo, how
did his legacy effect those nations in. >> well, he effects every nation, when you have any country looking at what it is going to do for its future, how do you have a peaceful election, a transition between powers, i think that when you look at what nelson mandela did, he had one term in office. he left peacefully, he provide add platform, and he was the first african president to do that. it's unfortunate, though, that it isn't yet the order of the day. open on the civil rights front, the that he showed how to be humble in service. is robin sanders former ambassador to nigeria, it is great to see you again, thank you for joining us tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> we are continuing to
get reaction, democratic congressman of new york joins us now on the telephone. relost a remarkable man, whose life and legacy will forever transcend. he is a man that history will be talking about i believe we have lost -- >> yes. >> hello? >> request you still her mae? >> yeah. >> congressman are you there? >> yes. great, you were just continuing about your thoughts about nelson mandela. and i have been thinking very much about the links between nelson mandela, and people of color around the world, and what he means to them, can you talk about that? >> nelson mandela is an
individual that i think all freedom loving and peace loving people look up to and will continue to look up to. generations yet onboard and the lessons. i have had the -- for me, growing up and having the tonight too meet him, has been one of the most rewarding things of a lifetime. having had the opportunity to sit in his home in south africa, and have lunch with him with a few other members is something that i will always remember, and his humility, and so for me, he reps the dignity of standing up to fighting for what he believes, by enduring 27 years of rids, and then coming out and being full of humility, and wanting to
keep his nation together because he never lost through bitterness, what his objective was, in the beginning. he stays focus and never let bitterness overcome his octoberive of having a south africa that was united with all of its people having the ability to participate. we appreciate you joining us to talk about nelson mandela, thank you very much. with more on that, libby. >> one of producers
talked about how many of them were very quiet, because they said there were no words. i talked to some people who work here, that got a phone call from senegal that said you have to know what happened and they came here today, took time off work, because they just wanted to be close to the statute, the closest thing they could get to. one girl who came here, many families a 7th grader had these reflections. i am saturday because of his death. some people can't deal with his loss, but he was a great man. i want to pray for his family, and all the people suffering for his loss, and i would like to say thank you for him and everything he did for us.
there's fencing up there because they are under construction. so the finance blocking the way -- they are putting their bundles of flowers or putting on the fence itself. earlier some young people led them through the fence so they could put flowers at the base of the statue. >> leaders are reacted to the death of nelson mandela. it's been fascinating to watch. when nelson mandela was elected president. the two presidents shared state dinners and state visits, they also had many projects that they worked on in office and out of office. bill clinton released the former statement today, he said that the history
will remember nelson mandela as a champion for human dignity and freedom for peace and reconciliation. with not just a political strategy but a way of life. president clinton also post add photo of himself with mr. mandela on his twitter account, and said i will never forget my friend madeba, using his tribal name. if you think about it on the world stage, he watches the berlin wall fall. here is what george hw bush said. and send our condolences.
former president george w bush, are among those expressing condolences. they release add statement that said that president mandela is one of the great fors for equality for his time. and a world is better off because of his example. this great man will be missed but his contributions will live on forever. there has been a flood of also reactions from dignitaries, i suppose you can call them. i know you mentioned the end of last year, prominently at his museum feature as picture of him with nelson mandela. they had shared many events and the picture that ali has featured includes basically seen nelson pretending to box him. mo hamed ali issues this statement, says he taught
us forgiveness on a grand scale, his was a spirit born free. today his spirit is soaring through the heavens he is now forever free. finally overseas also been a lot of reaction from international leaders, former leaders. he issues this statement saying through his dignity, grace, and quality of performance, not just immoral but stupid. in his place he put the right of all human kind to be free and to be equal. >> thank you very much. we will have much more on nelson mandela his life and death after this break. blame
a lot of people out here remember that day. i am here with community activist, you were here in 1990, and it was a special day for you and rah lot of people. >> yes. it's -- i have warm great memories of that crowd. people are very very excited. and our dear brother moved throughout the community. with no poor of the community. and it is quite sad tonight. i am saddened and experience of his passing but i'm hoping that in his passing that our young people become inspired by his life work, and his commitment. to justice and equality and fair treatment of all people. and so that hopefully by the news running these stories and the articles
that will appear in magazines that our young people embrace nelson mandela's history and his legacy. and that we can use some of that to empower our young people. that that they will become empowered. so symbolic hoping the same way they did during his visit in 1990. >> correct. we were with talking with mr. billy mitchell. it was special when he came to what are pledge of all places. that people were in dispair, and there were a whole lost of other issues. i think that his visit helped to stir, even some of our area politicians more to take action.
so he was definitely an inspiration to continue to fight. and he is an example of what happens when you persevere, when you stick through, and sometimes enjoy the most difficult struggling. and that you can come out on top. so i think that he is great in his visit to harlem, and even in his death, that it can be an inspiration to the community. thank you for your incite a lot of people sharing memories and stories. again, remembers being on top of the marque when mr. mandela came here to visit, and it was just a special time, and a special moment for a lot of people. it is certainly a time of reflection.
>> jennifer london is standing by. jennifer. >> well, tomb, today, south africa's president said we lost our greatest son, but we know he was beloved around the world. nelson mandela has close tied to los angeles he visited the region twice. during one of those he came here to the first church. he spoke to the sanctuary addressing the leaders. and just this past summer, the church did host a three day birthday celebration when he turned 95 years old. the community came out. other representatives came out, also, john, this church is a gathering place, back when he was released from
prison. the community here to watch the live event. you can knowledge begin to imagine the shouts that rose up from this building were perhapsed isovolume nows as they were in south africa. and took those few first steps and looks out on the horizon of freedom. that he now embraced. and so they saw what concerted efforts and what dedication, and commitment to a cause to attask could finally evolve in.
they were just happy to be part of -- or have it told to them by somebody else that lived in that time. tonight, there is a previously planned bible class, that will continue, but they will begin with a moment of silence. 24 sunday, the church will hold a special service in his honor. meanwhile, some thoughts and reactions from within the community are starting to pour in. release add statement saying our hearts are very heavy, with the news of nelson's mandela's passing.
so i understand you have a special cover coming up. >> it is filled with -- it is a tribute to entire magazine. but through further examination of the impact he had on the entire world. >> did we talk about that amazing photo, tell us about it? >> it is a photo that has never been seen before, and it captures him at his very essence. a child like quality to him, but there's also a great boost of it. it comes through in that image a man with his eyes closed, and with a big smile. it captures for me, anywe, the absolutely essence -- >> you know, i am sure that time magazine has thousands of photos to choose from, and probably has been like many news organizations planning
the r the possibility of nelson mandela's death, how did -- what's the process of choosing that one. >> well, we looked at a large number of photographs, as you correctly said, we had one great advantage at the time our manager editor who recently left time magazine, was of course his biographer, he co wrote the long walk to freedom. he knew him, he understood every mood and every aspect of the man. and so he felt and the rest of us couldn't but agree, that that picture captured mandela in a way that you don't see. there are a lot of pictures of him handing over that trophy, the rugby trophy, seen recreated in the movie, pictures of him leading the prison, the iconic pictures of him visiting robin island, there are hundreds of pictures to choose from. that one we felt rose above the rest.
>> where was it taken, do you know? >> i am not clear with all the details it was obviously a portrait picture. it was not a live shot. >> all right, it is great to see, thank you for sharing the cover with us, we appreciate it. >> now al jazeera has more on the life and death of nelson mandela. >> he was a prisoner, and a president. a violent revolutionary and a moderate reformer. he was the face of change, in turbulent south africa, his smile, and his powerful weapon in the for racial and political equality. >> many people don't see it, that it is useless and futile for us to continue talking peace and nonviolence against a government is on these savage attacks. on unarmorred defenseless people. >> the black man that would lead south africa
away from separation, was born in 1918. he grew up in a rural road less area, near the southeast coast, born to tribal royalty he was adopted and raised by a chiefton after his father's death when he was just nine. where a missionary teacher gave him the first name nelson. his political activist began in college, where he was elected to the student council but stepped down and join add boy t so over conditions at the school. those divisions grew everybody sharper. complete racial separation, the resettlement of 3 million people to black homelands. denying their right to vote and travel,
stripping them of citizen ship. nelson mandela was only 30. he soon became convinced peaceful demonstrations would never be enough to uproot the structure, so he helped form and run an armed grill ha movement. a campaign of bombings in materially 60's, led to his arrest along with others in the movement. convicted by spare as death sentence, he would send more than a quarter of a century, 27 years behind prison walls. 18 of those at the notorious robin island. the pump condemnation, and growing domestic unrest chipped away at
apartheid until finally mandela was released from prison. it was february 11th, 1990, the streets flowed with joy. vowing never to go back about what he called the black held of apartheid. >> your commitment, and your discipline, has lift me to stand before you today. but freedom wasn't easy. negotiating to reform the government, had to play peace keeper, trying to temper escalating
violence between his party and supporters of the freedom party, who wanted no part of negotiations with the government that had held them down for so long. thousands were killed in black on black fighting. also his marriage to winny mandela, a powerful political force herself was crumbling. the woman who supported him so publicly during a long years of incarceration, was accused of having affairs and of being linked to the murderous violence rattling south africa, they finally divorced. through it all, he led the country towards broader democracy, and in 1994, nelson mandela was able to vote for hymn, in a free election. he won. and was inaugurated add the first black president of his country.
he served one term, leaving reforms in child healthcare and education, modernizing the country's infrastructure, and pushing for racial healing. while his close relationships with foreign leaders like mom mad gaddafi and fidel castro drew criticism, he still visited the white house a number of times. in 2002, joshing w bush presented him with the presidential medal of freedom. barack obama met mandela only once, in 2005, when obama was still a senator. after just one term as president, mandela stepped down. but he did not slow his pace. his charitable foundation raised money for a variety of causes.
he made his last major public appearance, the crowd honoring him with a thunderous ovation. the former first lady was at his side through his battles with prostate cancer that hospitalized him near the end. never, and never again, shall it be that experience, the oppressive of one for another. in fact, shall never effect on so glorious a human achievement. thank you. >> nelson mandela.
the new south africa, dead at 95. we are about 50 teen minutes away from america tonight to continue our coverage, tell us what is coming up. >> yeah, john, i don't know about you but i was struck by the number of voice swrez heard from today. of course, the long sense of concern about mandela's health, coming to the end of his life, but there are so many voices that have come out already today. one thing we are doing on "america tonight" is reaching to one of our own producers who is a young south african, grew up in the age of mandela, and he turned 18 right when nelson mandela was released from prison. he is going to talk to us about those dark days the time he was growing up, his presence, and what experience was like, and what it meant for him, and so many other young south africans when he was released. very excited to hear what he has to say, and really help understand and remember what that was
like. >> yeah, it is very powerful. we have one of those stories coming up as well. she is hoar to talk about her recollection of living under apartheid, it is great do see you. >> thank you, john. >> you came to this country in 2006? >> yes. >> so you lived in south africa, tell me first of what nelson mandela meant to you growing up? >> nelson mandela was an aanything ma, i grew up under apartheid. and growing up in south africa, meant you couldn't talk about nelson mandela, you didn't know what he looked like, because his images couldn't be published. >> you could haven't a picture of him in your
own home. and you couldn't quote his words, so people couldn't tell you what he said. so you just knew the name, and you knew that he was in prison. >> what did your parents tell you about him? >> you heard different things. depending on who your parents were, and you you were being raised by, growing up in the township you would hear what younger people who admired nelson mandela, and then you would hear what the people at home would said say, and sometimes they were two very conflicting stories. what was it life like for you? i was a fetus in 1976. >> i mean in the 70's when you were growing up what was it like. >> you know, growing up in the township, you don't have a sense of what the outside world is like, because obviously at the time black people couldn't ingo to white areas. so what i -- my memory is a lot -- you know the big
military trucks they used to bring in all the young white soldiers into the townships, and so we grew up around that, and we group under a lot of tier gas, because the police would often have these run ins with young people, and tier gas. >> these are early memories of growing up. >> yeah, not just primary scal, imagine you are a five-year-old, you are going to school, and you have your lunchbox like every five-year-old, and your school books you get told you have to go home, because the police are tier gassing you school. that's what the township was like. >> there must have been a time when you realized that the world is looking at south africa and saying what is going on there is wrong. >> right. >> what did that mean to you and your friends? >> i guess -- i meant number one that we had to make choices. at the time, all of us would feel this anger about the system, but you didn't know what the anger really meant.
and so you try to find ways to channel that anger, so some of us would owe up enjoying the struggle and then some of us would be told that the best way to fight would be to get educated and so. >> go brack to the anger for a second, because i don't think -- can you explain that? >> well, i will explain it to you by giving an example of what that anger meant. when offs small child, my uncle would often drive around with me, and i remember once we drove past a park, and i said to my uncle i would like to go and play in the park, and my uncle said unfortunately, the park is closed. and you can see that the park was open, because the gates were open, and it was only years later in my uncle said to me, you know the reason why you couldn't go into that park is because you were black, and it was a white park. and i couldn't take you there, so imagine then being a child growing up knowing that certain things you just cannot do, like play in a park,
or swim in a swimming pool, or use a playground in a shopping mall, because it was all for white children, and so growing up in an environment, in a society in which no is on nearly every door that you want to go through. >> can you describe what it was like when nelson mandela was released from prison? >> knives boarding boarding school. my second year of boarding school, i can remember, the most memorable event was the speech that f.w. declerk gave in parliament. it was one of those moments in which you think wow, somebody can just do that, just stand up in public and saying i'm banning the amc, it sounds almost like antiapartheid movementty climb mac, something that had been so momentum, and so big that had threatened to overwhelm the country, what i
remember is the speech. >> i don't know whether we have the live pictures but if we have the live pictures outside of nelson's home. what is going on this early morn. >> i think many people have come out because of the media and everything, even before i came here, people were texting me. >> it is seven hours ahead. >> right, so people are reacting by going to his room, and really almost telling the family that they are thinking about the family. and so it is the beginning of the mourning for many south africans. because it is going to be a long mourning process for nelson mandela. >> will you go back? >> will i go back? >> would you like to go back to this funeral. >> to the funeral -- ire think i would be torn about it.
because of whether we are, it would be a media event, and so i'm not sure that i want that to be part of the media event, but i would love to be there to shay the moment with my family, but also importantly, with members of my own generation, because we with have our own stories to tell. about what it meant to be the generation that watched nelson mandela walk free. >> it's great to meet you and sharing your story with us. >> thank you. >> eninch gathering the reaction there, and he has more to tell us, jonathan? >> you can see bunking of the most visible ways. he changed our world, you might remember, when nelson mandela visited harlem and new york city,
back in 1990, it was a huge deal. a lot of excitement, a lot 3506 people just sharing their stories. a lot of people were here when he visited. in fact, we talked with a historian here, he says he remembers being on top of the marque, and seeing mr. mandela wave as he came back. and it was especially important that he was here in harlem, because they feel this was a place that needed hope. people need add pick me up, and the historian said that his presence here even meat young men feel like hey, let me get my act together. the fact that he is here, and this man has been through so much, and who is basically a rock star, but more than anything, has been through so much and isn't bitter and came through, maybeky do the same. so a lot of people sharing their memories tonight.
remembering that day that he came through, and gave that big speech at yankee stadium as welt. >> maybe your photographer can go in tight on that marque. i just want to take a look, hard to read therd whos the light are pretty bright here. he changed our world, and as i mentioned when he visited back in 1990, they had the same marque. i am sure it has been updated since then, it said welcome mr. and mrs. mandela. it was a big moment, people were standing on top of the marque, so just a special moment for this community. also a lot of people coming off the subway, this is how they found out about his death.
nelson mandela the first black president of south africa has died. he was in prison for 27 years and negotiated an end to white minority rule. tonight people are celebrating his life, a crowd of people have been dance and singing in his memory for hours and that will continue president obama also honored mandell what's memory today. >> . >> he achieved more than could be expected of any man. today he has gone home. >> former president george w bush and former first lady lora bush are among those expressing condolences. they release add statement that read -- president mandela is one of the great, toes for freedom and equality of our time. he bore his burdens with
dignity and grace, and our world is better off because of his example. that great man will be missed, but his contributions will li onofre. our coverage of nelson mandela continues here on al jazeera america, america tonight with joey chen is up next, and i will see you back here at 11:00 eastern, 8:00 pacific time. blame