Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #57) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #57)
Transcript: knife ruled at night. Very often the police would raid for passes, poll tax and liquor and arrest large numbers. In spite of this, Alexandra was more than a home for its fifty thousand residents. As one of the few areas of the country where Africans could acquire freehold property, and run their own affairs free from the tyranny of municipal regulations, it was both a symbol and a challenge. Its establishment was an acknowledgement that a section of our people had broken their ties with the rural areas and become permanent town dwellers. Drawn from all the African language groups its population was politically concious, more articulate and with a sense of solidarity which was causing increasing concern among the whites. It became clear to me that the leadership of my people would come from the urban areas where militant workers and an emergent class of prosperous and ambitious traders were suffering all the frustrations of racial prejudice. These are the straps that bind one tightly to Alex. Up to the actual moment of my arrest fourteen years ago I regarded the township as a home in which I had no specefic house and Orlando, where my wife and children still live, as a place where I had a house but no home.
I was still settling down in Johannesburg when the Regent visited the city towards the end of 1941. I went to see him and he questioned me closely on my work, studies and future plans, but he was kind and couteous and Fort Hare and marriage were not even mentioned. This meeting was some stroke of luck for me and had the effect of rehabilitating me to that section which I was indifferent and even hostile to me because I had run away from school and had refused the wife the Regent had chosen for me. He spent about two weeks in Johannesburg and then returned home. In August 1942 he died after a short illness and Justice and I went down but arrived too late for the funeral.
Extent and Medium: 1 page