“We have failed to follow Nelson Mandela’s principles”

As printed in the periodical: La Estrella de Panana in Spanish. Click here to read the original article.

Today the world remembers Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid activist and lawyer, who presided over his country from 1994 to 1999. His cultural and political heritage is recognized throughout the world, but how much do new generations know about it?

“I have the impression that the youngest are learning to live according to Mandela’s legacy,” reflects Melva Lowe de Goodin, promoter of Afro-Caribbean culture in Panama and beyond national borders.

“It gave me a lot of hope,” continues Lowe, “to see the number of whites, mestizos and Asians who joined the Black Lives Matter movement to protest in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and so many others. cities of the United States and several countries of the world ”.

Lowe, a Panamanian, who taught African and Caribbean literature at the University of Zambia, Africa, sees in the reactions that arose after George Floyd’s death, in various parts of the world, a response of nations to the cause defended by Mandela: the equality.

As described by the promoter of Afro-Caribbean culture, Mandela was aware that the South African population had to go through a kind of catharsis so that they would have the will to accompany him in his ideals, and to prevent the inhabitants of his country from turning upside down. to the violence product of revenge for the wounds suffered. With this process in mind, he created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that allowed the abused and abusers to sit at a table to vent, ask for forgiveness, and express pain for the inhuman treatment that occurred during that period of segregation and fierce racial discrimination.

“It seems to me that after seeing the scenes that went around the world when Floyd, a black man murdered by a white policeman who knelt on his neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, the American population had its own Commission of the Truth and Reconciliation through the marches and protests that this inhuman treatment unleashed ”, says the cultural manager.

Lowe, afropanameña de ascendencia jamaicana y presidenta de la Sociedad de Amigos del Museo Afroantillano de Panamá (Samaap), considera que los negros residentes en el Reino Unido también tuvieron su Comisión de la Verdad y Reconciliación cuando lograron bajar el “ofensivo monumento de un esclavista y tirarlo al mismo río de donde salían sus barcos con africanos esclavizados en siglos pasados”.

As printed in the periodical: La Estrella de Panana in Spanish. Click here to read the original article.

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