JULIEN FÉDON: Revolutionary, Patriot and Insurrectionist

The Untold Story of a Mulatto Leader

By Herman G. Hall

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Nelson Mandela

Our annual carnival edition focused on young soca artists but in addition to calypso, soca and carnival features there was a tribute to Nelson Mandela by South African Simangele Ntuli.

The publisher of EVERYBODY’S Magazine sincerely thank the now defunct “The West Indian” and “The Torchlight” newspapers in Grenada for educating him thru their strong editorials in the 1950s and 1960s supporting Mandela and condemning apartheid. It was 1956 and the young Nelson Mandela, a lawyer and former boxer, was charged with treason. For the next several years and throughout Mandela’s trial, The West Indian newspaper consistently gave news of Mandela and charged the white South African government of crimes against humanity.

Beginning with its first or second edition in 1977, EVERYBODY’S presented articles by Black South Africans who grew up in the apartheid state. Our most recent article (September/2013) by South African Simangele Ntuli is referral reading in some high schools in NY and NJ. “… I can recall as if it were yesterday my first voting experience in 1994 when I cast my ballot for the Nelson Mandela-led African National Congress …” writes Ntuli in this stimulating article.

This magazine did not hesitate to help photographer Kwame Brathwaite go to South African for the presidential inauguration of Mandela on May 10, 1994. Kwame chose a specific photo for the cover for symbolic reasons. There was incoming president Mandela standing tall and outgoing president F.W. de klerk sitting low as Black South Africans took political control of South Africa.
From a calypso perspective, a time when the calypso was rich in lyrics, major calypsonians of the day composed great songs motivating Black South Africans to continue the struggle.
It was not surprising that the Mighty Sparrow performed for the Nelson Mandela at Yankee Stadium on June 21, 1990, welcoming Mandela to New York City four months after Mandela’s release from prison.