interior banner image

Ayana Mathis on Nelson Mandela

Ayana Mathis on Nelson Mandela

Author: William Johnson

December 7, 2013

Various media outlets from around the world have been offering poignant commemorations of Nelson Mandela, the recently deceased civil rights figure “who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as that country’s first black president” and who was also a stalwart champion for lgbt rights.

One beautifully rendered remembrance comes to us from writer Ayana Mathis, posted this week in New Yorker‘s “Page-Turner” blog:

It is unlikely, as I sit here at my desk, a mug of tea steaming, the radio playing softly, that I truly understand freedom, having always had it. Nor have I any real notion of confinement, never having been subject to it. And do I understand—do we understand—courage? What about conviction? What about greatness? Mandela left the world better than he found it not just because of what he did but because of what he wanted us to do. “Your freedom and mine cannot be separated,” he once said. His legacy is a reverberating call to action[…]

Read the complete post here.



Image by Kadir Nelson via The New Yorker



William Johnson photo

About: William Johnson

William Johnson is the former Deputy Director of Lambda Literary.

Subscribe to our newsletter