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On February 11, 1990, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison a free man after being held captive for over 27 years. Crowds roared with joyfulness as their beacon of hope pumped his right fist in the air triumphantly. The international community watched the occasion with hope and a feeling of success after the assistance in the struggle to bring down the brutal regime of apartheid. This inspiring movement took decades of unified activism from both South Africans and local, grassroots organizations to bring the system down. Amidst the ongoing Cold War politics and other international issues, dismantling apartheid proved to be a severe challenge. Nevertheless, activists from across the world, from small towns to large cities, united to bring about an end to the racial system. Today, the anti-apartheid movement remains a clear example of how unified activism at the local level can bring about change on the wider national and international community.
Smith, Shane, "“Why Invest in Racism?”: Anti-Apartheid Activism at the University of Illinois, 1977-1987" (2023). Student Honors Theses. 5.
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