I have a challenge for you readers out there! Research best-selling novels from the year you were born and pick one to read! Since I was born in 1994, I set to work finding a book that might intrigue me and finally chose the well-known autobiography Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela. Given the current social and political climate, I felt this book was an appropriate choice. Also, there’s no better time to crack open a 700 page autobiography than during quarantine.

Nelson MandelaMandela, one of the world’s greatest philanthropic and political leaders, is best known as the head of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, and President of South Africa from 1994-1999. Mandela was arrested on multiple occasions for his activism and opposing South Africa’s apartheid system, and spent over 27 years in prison as a result.

His autobiography details the story of his life from childhood to his victory in South Africa’s first multi-racial elections. Mandela’s is a story of intense struggle and injustice, but also of renewed hope, democracy, and equality. By the time of his death in 2013, Mandela had gained international renown for his activism and powerful history. He is still deeply respected around the world, especially in South Africa where he is named “Father of the Nation”.

Nelson Mandela’s life is proof that not all struggle is in vain, so as we move forward through this pandemic and through all of life’s challenges, remember that ultimate triumph results from respecting those different from you and living in equality.