Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #593) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #593)
Transcript: Chapter 17
(1) A story of one's life should deal frankly with political colleagues, their personalities and their views. The reader would like to know that kind of person the writer is, his relationships with others and these should emerge not from the ephithets used but from the facts themselves.
(2) But an autobiography of a freedom fighter must inevitable be influenced by the question whether the revelation of certain facts, however true they may be, will help advance the struggle or not. If the disclosure of such facts will enable us to see problems clearly and bring nearer our goal then it is our duty to do so, however much such revelations may adversely affect the particular individuals concerned. But frankness which creates unnecessary tensions and divisions which may be exploited by the enemy and retard the struggle as a whole is dangerous and must be avoided.
(3) The utmost caution becomes particularly necessary where an autobiography is writted clandestinely in prison, where one deals with political colleagues who themselves live under the hardships and tensions of prison life, who are in daily contact with officials who have a mania for persecuting prisoners. Writing under such conditions the temptation is strong to mention only those things which will make your fellow prisoners feel that their sacrifices have not been in vain, that takes their minds away from the grim conditions in which they live and that makes them happy and hopeful. An essential part of that caution and fair play would be to have the widest possible measure of consultation with your colleagues about what you intend to say about them, to circulate
Extent and Medium: 1 page