author – activist – faculty – mom
I didn’t expect to cry. I was sitting in my bedroom in Dorchester, MA, watching on a crappy little black and white TV when Mandela was released from prison. I was excited to be watching history unfold. And then he was standing there, no guards holding his arms, waving to the crowd. I was suddenly overcome by these great heaving sobs. For so long he had stood as a symbol of the continuing oppression of African people worldwide, and yet somehow he had stood fast for so long, and something about the world had changed enough that he could be free. At the time, I was in my early 20s, and he had been in jail my entire life. He would go on to lead a nation and lead the world, but it was that moment, that turning point that brought deep tears of joy for what is possible for us in transforming racism and colonization in my lifetime.