Atlantic Cities
Postcard

Mourning Mandela, Around the World

Word of Nelson Mandela's death spread quickly around the world yesterday.

Mandela, who passed away at 95 after a long illness, was key to South Africa's fight against colonialism and apartheid. The lawyer and activist led a crusade against the South Africa National Party. As a result, he was jailed for 27 years for conspiracy to overthrow the government. He was released in 1990. In 1994, he became the first black president of South Africa. While in office, he helped the country wrestle its deeply embedded racial tensions and institutionalized inequality.

His lifelong efforts turned him into an international civil rights icon. That legacy was on display yesterday, as dignitaries rushed to praise him and mourners from Soweto to Brooklyn gathered to form their own tributes.


A group of mourners sing and dance outside the Johannesburg home of former president Nelson Mandela Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)


People read a newspaper on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, where former South African President Nelson Mandela resided when he lived in the township, December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Ihsaan Haffejee)


Children react during a gathering of mourners on Vilakazi Street in Soweto, where the former South African President Nelson Mandela resided when he lived in the township, December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Ihsaan Haffejee)


Mourners lay flowers in tribute to former President Nelson Mandela in Sandton, Johannesburg, December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings) 


A girl holds a South African national flag as people mourn the death of former President Nelson Mandela outside Cape Town City Hall, where Mandela made his first speech after his release from his 27-year incarceration, December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings) 


Newspapers with front pages depicting South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela are displayed at a vendor's stand in Ikoyi district in Lagos December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)


A placard depicting former South African President Nelson Mandela hangs on a barbed wire as a Palestinian protester reacts to tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes at a weekly demonstration against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Bilin, near Ramallah December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)


Children hold earthen lamps in tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela, organised by Aafia Movement in Karachi December 6, 2013. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist sentenced by a U.S. judge in September 2010 to 86 years in prison after she was convicted of shooting at FBI agents and soldiers following her arrest in Afghanistan. (REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro) 


Women walk past a sand sculpture paying tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela created by Indian sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik, at Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Stringer)


A Chinese paramilitary policeman stands guard near a wreath of flowers and a portrait of former South African President Nelson Mandela displayed outside the South African Embassy in Beijing, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)


Pope Francis kneels in prayer as Cardinal Sean O'Malley, left, delivers the First Advent Sermon in the Redemptoris Mater chapel inside the Vatican, Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Pope Francis has sent "prayerful" condolences to South Africa's people as he praised Nelson Mandela's work for reconciliation and truth. The Vatican said Friday Francis sent a condolence telegram to President Jacob Zuma asking God to "console and strengthen" all those mourning the loss. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)


Workmen unfurl a giant banner with a photo of the late South African President Nelson Mandela to cover the facade of the Quai d'Orsay Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris, December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau) 


People view and place tributes at a statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square in London December 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Toby Melville)


People release paper lanterns after lighting them outside Madiba, a restaurant named in honor of former South African President Nelson Mandela, in the Brooklyn borough of New York December 5, 2013. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)


People stop to take photographs of the marquee of the Apollo Theatre paying tribute to former South African President Nelson Mandela in New York December 5, 2013. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)


Dijon Anderson of Bowie, Maryland photographs his son Keaton, 10, in front of a statue of Nelson Mandela at the South African embassy in Washington December 5, 2013. (REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan)

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

Join the Discussion