Celebrating Mandela on his 95th Birthday
In partnership with the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Washington, D.C. and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, TransAfrica coordinated a Celebration of Nelson Mandela's 95th Birthday. The event was held at the historic Metropolitan A.M.E. Church in downtown Washington, D.C., convened by Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Metropolitan's Senior Pastor and included a sermon by Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. from Metropolitan Baptist Church.
We were thrilled to be joined by veterans of the Free South Africa Movement (FSAM) including the Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, Richard Lugar and Ronald Dellums. Each retold stories of the work done from individual supporters to organizers and activists to elected officials on behalf of the Comprehensive Anti Apartheid Act of 1986 and subsequent U.S. policies.
We had the privilege of hearing tributes to Madiba from Bill Lucy, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, and Donald Gips. The evening also included musical contributions from Ayanna Gregory, Roger Isaacs, the Washington Performing Arts Society Children of the Gospel Choir and South African youth drummer Daniel Petersen, III.
The event was a fitting culmination of reflection on the contributions of Madiba throughout his own life and the relevance of these lessons to current issues of justice today.
See photos from the Metropolitan A.M.E. event here.
Also in our Mandela Day Celebrations blog you can watch Members of Congress honor Mandela on Capitol Hill, and see our photos from that event here.