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Nelson Mandela Speech
The following passage is adapted from a pivotal 1964 speech by South Africa's Nelson Mandela, called "An Ideal for Which I Am Prepared to Die." Mandela, later elected first president of democratic South Africa, gave this speech before his trial and imprisonment for activism against apartheid, a now-obsolete system of racial segregation in South Africa.
The lack of human dignity experienced byAfricans is the direct result of the policy of whitesupremacy.… Menial tasks in South Africa areinvariably performed by Africans. When anything05has to be carried or cleaned the white man will lookaround for an African to do it for him, whether theAfrican is employed by him or not. Because of thissort of attitude, whites … do not look upon themas people with families of their own; they do not10realise that they have emotions—that they fall inlove like white people do; that they want to be withtheir wives and children like white people wantto be with theirs; that they want to earn enoughmoney to support their families properly, to feed15and clothe them and send them to school.…Pass laws, which to the Africans are amongthe most hated bits of legislation in South Africa,render any African liable to police surveillance atany time. I doubt whether there is a single African20male in South Africa who has not at some stagehad a brush with the police over his pass. Hundredsand thousands of Africans are thrown into jail eachyear under pass laws. Even worse than this is thefact that pass laws keep husband and wife apart and25lead to the breakdown of family life.Poverty and the breakdown of family life havesecondary effects. Children wander about thestreets of the townships because they have noschools to go to, or no money to enable them to go30to school, or no parents at home to see that they goto school, because both parents (if there be two)have to work to keep the family alive. This leads toa breakdown in moral standards … and to growingviolence which erupts not only politically, but35everywhere.…Africans want to perform work which theyare capable of doing, and not work which thegovernment declares them to be capable of.Africans want to be allowed to live where they40obtain work, and not be endorsed out of an areabecause they were not born there. Africans want tobe allowed to own land in places where they work,and not to be obliged to live in rented houses whichthey can never call their own. Africans want to be45part of the general population, and not confinedto living in their own ghettoes. African men wantto have their wives and children to live with themwhere they work.… Africans want to be allowedout after eleven o'clock at night and not to be50confined to their rooms like little children. Africanswant to be allowed to travel in their own countryand to seek work where they want to and not wherethe labour bureau tells them to. Africans want ajust share in the whole of South Africa; they want55security and a stake in society.Above all, we want equal political rights, becausewithout them our disabilities will be permanent.I know this sounds revolutionary to the whites inthis country, because the majority of voters will be60Africans. This makes the white man fear democracy.But this fear cannot be allowed to stand in theway of the only solution which will guaranteeracial harmony and freedom for all. It is not truethat the enfranchisement of all will result in racial65domination. Political division, based on colour, isentirely artificial and, when it disappears, so willthe domination of one colour group by another.The ANC1 has spent half a century fighting againstracialism. When it triumphs it will not change that70policy.This then is what the ANC is fighting. Theirstruggle is a truly national one. It is a struggle ofthe African people, inspired by their own sufferingand their own experience. It is a struggle for the75right to live.During my lifetime I have dedicated myself tothis struggle of the African people. I have foughtagainst white domination, and I have foughtagainst black domination. I have cherished the80ideal of a democratic and free society in which allpersons live together in harmony and with equalopportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to livefor and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal forwhich I am prepared to die.
1ANC: African National Congress, the political organization that spearheaded the movement for equal rights in South Africa
1. What is the most likely intended purpose of this speech?
2. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
3. As used in line 40, "endorsed" most nearly means
4. It can be reasonably inferred that pass laws
5. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
6. As used in line 66, "artificial" most nearly means
7. According to Mandela's claims, what is true of democracy?
8. The statement in lines 68-70 ("The ANC … policy") is important to the overall argument in its suggestion that
9. It can be reasonably inferred that Mandela would most likely support which of the following future policies?
10. Paragraph 6 of Mandela's speech can be described as
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