Historic Nelson Mandela Poster
by Sharat G. Lin, Friday Dec.. 27, 2013, San Jose
An historic poster honoring Nelson Mandela in the 23rd year of his incarceration by the Apartheid government of South Africa is now on display in the San José Peace and Justice Center. The poster was printed in Hindi in 1985 by the solidarity organization Contemporary Third World in New Delhi, India.
Facing an escalating revolutionary situation across South Africa, in February 1985 President Peter Botha offered Mandela release from prison on condition that he "unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon." Mandela refused. The poster was issued specifically in solidarity with Mandela's historic decision.
The poster honors "Nelson Mandela who despite 23 years in prison torture turned down an offer to be released with conditions." It then reproduces "Mandela's message in the name of the people to the white racist government."
It would be over four additional years before he would finally be freed on the eve of the fall of Apartheid.
The poster is titled "South Africa's liberation struggle against white rule." It was collected by the author at a time when public awareness of Nelson Mandela and the nature of South African Apartheid was far greater in India than it was in the United States.
Mandela passed away on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95. He was honored by a state funeral attended by many world leaders in the village of his childhood, Qunu.
The San José Peace and Justice Center salutes Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Nelson Mandela presenté!