The night has beenlong, The wound has been deep, The pit has been dark, And the walls have been steep.
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The night has been long,
The wound has been

deep,
The pit has been dark,
And the walls have been

steep.

Under a dead blue sky on a distant beach,
I was dragged by my braids just beyond your reach.
Your hands were tied, your mouth was

bound,
You couldn’t even call out my name.
You were helpless and so was

I,
But unfortunately throughout history
You’ve worn a badge of

shame.

I say, the night has been long,
The wound has been deep,
The pit has been dark
And the walls have

been steep.

But today, voices of old spirit sound
Speak to us in words profound,
Across the years, across the centuries,
Across the oceans, and across the seas.
They say, draw near to one another,
Save your race.
You have been paid for in a distant place,
The old ones remind us that slavery’s chains
Have paid for our freedom again and again.

The night has been long,
The pit has been deep,

The night has been dark,
And the walls have been steep.

The hells we have lived through and live through still,
Have

sharpened our senses and toughened our will.
The night has been long.
This

morning I look through your anguish
Right down to your soul.
I know that

with each other we can make ourselves whole.
I look through the posture and past your disguise,

And see your love for family in your big brown eyes.

I say, clap hands and let’s come together in this meeting ground,
I say, clap hands and let’s deal with each

other with love,
I say, clap hands and let us get from the low road of indifference,
Clap hands, let us come together and reveal our hearts,
Let us come together and revise our

spirits,
Let us come together and cleanse our souls,
Clap hands, let’s

leave the preening
And stop impostering our own history.
Clap hands, call

the spirits back from the ledge,
Clap hands, let us invite joy into our conversation,
Courtesy into our bedrooms,
Gentleness into our kitchen,
Care into our nursery.

The ancestors remind us, despite the history of

pain
We are a going-on people who will rise again.

And still we rise.

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South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson

Mandela has died, South Africa’s president says.

Mr Mandela, 95, led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27

years in prison.

He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital.

In a statement on

South African national TV, Jacob Zuma said Mr Mandela had “departed” and was at peace.

“Our nation has lost its greatest son,” Mr

Zuma said.

He said Mr Mandela would receive a full state funeral, and flags would be flown at half-mast.

BBC correspondents say Mr Mandela’s

body will be moved to a mortuary in Pretoria, and the funeral is likely to take place next Saturday.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the

world’s most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for 27 years.

He had rarely been seen in public since officially

retiring in 2004. He made his last public appearance in 2010, at the football World Cup in South Africa.

‘Bid him farewell’

“What made Nelson

Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves,” Mr Zuma said.

“Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought

us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.”

US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any

man.

“He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages,” Mr Obama said, saying Mr Mandela “took history in his hands and bent

the arc of the moral universe towards justice”.

Mr Obama, the first black president of the United States, said he was one of the millions who drew

inspiration from Mr Mandela’s life.

FW de Klerk, who as South Africa’s last white president ordered Mr Mandela’s release, paid tribute to the man he

called a friend.

“He made a unique contribution not only to the establishment of our constitutional democracy but also to the cause of national

reconciliation and nation-building,” he said in a statement.

He said Mr Mandela’s example would live on.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron also

paid tribute, saying “a great light has gone out in the world”.

Earlier this year, Mr Mandela spent nearly three months in hospital with a recurring

lung infection.

He was moved to his home in the Houghton suburb of Johannesburg in September, where he continued to receive intensive care.

Robben Island

Born in 1918, Nelson Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1943, as a law student.

He and other ANC leaders

campaigned against apartheid. Initially he campaigned peacefully but in the 1960s the ANC began to advocate violence, and Mr Mandela was made the commander of

its armed wing.

He was arrested for sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, serving most of his sentence on Robben Island.

It was

forbidden to quote him or publish his photo, but he and other ANC leaders were able to smuggle out messages of guidance to the anti-apartheid movement.

He was released in 1990 as South Africa began to move away from strict racial segregation – a process completed by the first multi-racial elections in 1994.

Mr Mandela, who had been awarded the Nobel Prize in 1993 jointly with white President FW de Klerk, was elected South Africa’s first black president.

He served a single term, stepping down in 1999.

After leaving office, he became South Africa’s highest-profile ambassador, campaigning against HIV/Aids

and helping to secure his country’s right to host the 2010 football World Cup.

He was also involved in peace negotiations in the Democratic Republic of

Congo, Burundi and other countries in Africa and elsewhere.

 

 

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1918 Born in the Eastern Cape

 

1943 Joined

African National Congress

 

1956 Charged with high treason, but charges dropped after a four-year trial

 

1962 Arrested, convicted of incitement and leaving country without a passport, sentenced to five years in prison

 

1964 Charged with sabotage, sentenced to life

 

1990 Freed from prison

 

1993 Wins Nobel Peace Prize

 

1994 Elected first black president

 

1999 Steps down as leader

 

2001 Diagnosed with prostate cancer

 

2004 Retires from public life

 

2005 Announces his son has died of an HIV/Aids-related illness

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Donovan Crow
Donovan Crow
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