Nelson Mandela As a Young Man

A look back at this legendary leader's roots.

ESSENCE.COM Jun, 27, 2013

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Nelson Mandela circa 1960's.

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Oliver Tambo and Nelson Mandela in 1960. The two partners opened the first Black legal firm in South Africa.

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Mandela marries Winnie Madikizela in June 1958 in Ponderland, South Africa.

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Nelson Mandela circa 1960's.

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A file photo dated 1961 of African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela.

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Nelson Mandela was a respectable boxer in his youth in the early 1950's.

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Nelson Mandela circa 1960's.

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Nelson Mandela, President of the African National Congress, in discussion in 1964 with C Andrews, a Cape Town teacher.

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Nelson Mandela is smuggled out of the country. He attends the Pan-African Freedom Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which is hosted by Oliver Tambo, and addresses the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa, South Africa.

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Defendants Moses Kotane (left) and Nelson Mandela leave a courtroom in Pretoria, South Africa, during the Treason Trial, 1958. The trial, of 156 people, lasted from 1956 to 1961. 

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The South African political leader Nelson Mandela gives a speech before the African Congress in 1961.

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Mandela becomes national president of the ANC Youth League in 1951.

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The ANC responds to government's banning by endorsing an armed struggle. Mandela goes underground and launches the armed struggle by forming Umkhonto we Sizwe (The Spear of the Nation) or MK. MK's policy is to target only government offices and symbols of apartheid, not people. Here, we see Nelson Mandela in London in 1950.