Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

27Apr/140

Celebrating Freedom Day in South Africa: 1994-2014

HU South Africa Elections Delegation - 1994

On this day exactly 20 years ago, I had the once-in-a-lifetime privilege of participating in the first fully democratic and inclusive election process in South Africa.  I was a part of a great delegation of seven students, five faculty members and a two-person camera crew representing Howard University as official elections observers. In fact, the Howard University delegation (if my memory serves me correctly) was the only U.S. university with students serving in an official capacity as international elections observers. That was a testament to Howard's commitment to both South Africa and its role in developing leaders in support of the global African community.

It was a moving experience for all of us, and one that we'll never forget. The highlight for me was talking with and watching the elders who waited hours through the night to cast their vote for the first time, as well as talking with the many students who fought and strategized for years leading up to the 1990 release of Nelson Mandela, and also keeping the pressure on within communities throughout the negotiations process which culminated in the 1994 elections.

Today, exactly twenty years after the 1994 elections, South Africans, and others throughout the world, celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Freedom Day.

We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in South Africa, recognizing that South Africa is not the place it was prior to the 1994 elections, and it's still on its journey to becoming what it's destiny has in store.

Our shared struggle continues!

Many thanks to brother Jonathan Hutto from Howard University for sharing this link with me last year. Brings back great memories.

free south africa

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