Nelson Mandela (The First Names Series)
Before he was the first Black president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela (1918–2013) was a boy with a traditional Thembu upbringing. He went on to study law and become involved with African nationalist politics. The government had established an apartheid (a system of segregation that privileged white people), and Mandela worked to overthrow this system. He was arrested, accused of treason, and thrown in jail. When he was released, Mandela negotiated an end to the apartheid and was elected president. Though he was a controversial figure at the time, he is now seen as an iconic advocate for democracy and social justice. Inspiring and informational, Nelson Mandela tells the story of one of the greatest politicians and revolutionaries. It includes a timeline, glossary, and index.
First Names is a highly illustrated nonfiction series that puts readers on a first-name basis with some of the most incredible people in history and of today!
I was surprised at how much background and history was included in this book. Most of the biographies of Mandela I have seen focused more on just what happened to him, and didn't describe the cultural and historical background that was so important to his life and work.
Readers who enjoy biographies like Patrick's Lewis Latimer from the HarperCollins' Hidden Heroes series or Blas's Who Was the Voice of the People: Cesar Chavez enjoy the mix of line illustrations and in depth discussions of important topics that accompany this biography. I would love to see more biographies like the one about Latimer, about whom little else has been written. The First Names series includes titles about Harry Houdini, Amelia Earhart, Ada Lovelace, and Ferdinand Magellan, but I am hoping that a biography series will eventually include lesser known Black historical figures such as Pastor Hiram Revels, Oscar Robertson, Margaret Murray Washington, and Flemmie Kittrell.