Remembering Nelson Mandela on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday


It’s taken me weeks to get to this: Mandela. The irony of it coming on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday isn’t lost on me… though, some might argue it’s not ironic at all. Don’t ask Alanis Morissette about that–only adds to the confusion, and irony. Nelson Mandela, shared many things in common with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; both men stood for very similar principles and beliefs, in different places and times, and both men had an enormous impact on my life.

I was born in 1963, in northern California. I grew up in the shadow of the Civil Rights movement. I missed it by a wink. I was alive when much of it was going down, and when much of it was at its height, but I was too young to notice or care, in an active or meaningful way.  By all accounts, and my own memories, I…

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