Long Walk- Part 6- Violence or Nonviolence?

Reading Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela has opened my eyes to the extreme racism and prejudice that blacks experienced.  If it weren’t for men like Nelson Mandela, racism would still exist, specifically in South Africa.

Throughout Part 6 of the book, I utterly realized how much Nelson Mandela contributed to the equal rights of blacks. Not only did he create the MK organization, he traveled to different parts of the world, gaining knowledge, information, and intelligence about the different strategies and tactics of violent warfare.

One part from this section that stood out to me the most was the contradictory and conflicting views of whether the ANC should resort to violence or remain nonviolent in their protests to freedom.

Because the nonviolent protests did not work, Mandela believed that violence was the only thing left.

“I was candid and explained why I believed we had no choice but to turn to violence” (Mandela, 271).

If they did not turn to violence, nothing would ever be changed.  He stated how people were forming military units on their own.

Although Mandela had very strong viewpoints of violence, J.N. Singh stated,

“Nonviolence has not failed us, we have failed nonviolence” (Mandela, 273).

However, in the end, the decision to remain nonviolent or resort to violence was concluded with “violence would begin whether we initiated it or not” (Mandela 272).

This can relate to South Africa today for several reasons. When nonviolent strategies do not work, violence is inevitable. People who protest, go on strike, and boycott utilize the tactics of nonviolence until there comes a point where nothing changes.

I thought this part was interesting because I enjoyed reading about the different perspectives on violence.  I do however agree with Mandela that if violence is not used, the fight for freedom will remain stagnant. But, I can understand the conflicting views because when one resorts to violence, innocent people will be killed.

Overall, I liked this part of the autobiography and enjoyed reading about how the MK organization came about and how Nelson Mandela did everything in his power to get freedom for blacks.


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