On February 11, 1990, the day Nelson Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, I was driving from downtown Los Angeles to my apartment near Venice, having detoured through a sketchy part of Culver City in an attempt to bypass some traffic calamity or another on the 10.
The radio crackled with almost unbelievable news, and I was so worried I’d lose the signal that I pulled off into a strip mall parking lot and fussed with the dial, confusing the chanting of the crowd in Cape Town—“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!—with static.
Elizabeth Drescher reflects on the life and meaning of Nelson Mandela for Religion Dispatches.