Nelson Mandela’s Most Memorable Quotes

In honor of his life, The Root looks back at some of the legend’s most memorable and insightful quotes.

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    Nelson Mandela (Torsten Blackwood/AFP/Getty Images)

    Nelson Mandela’s words have cast a lasting legacy of justice, activism and peace over the world. In honor of his life, we look back at some of the legend’s most memorable and insightful quotes.

  • images2Fslides2FThere_is_no_easy_walk_to_freedom_6

    From Mandela’s “No Easy Walk to Freedom” speech in August 1953


  • images2Fslides2FToo_many_have_suffered_for_the_love_of_freedom_6

    From a letter he wrote while still imprisoned. His youngest daughter, Zindzi, read this to a Johannesburg crowd on Feb. 10, 1985.



  • images2Fslides2FTeach_the_children_that_Africans_are_not_one_iota_inferior_to_Europeans_2_3_1

    From his “No Easy Walk to Freedom” speech” in August 1953


  • images2Fslides2FWe_are_rising_from_the_ashes_of_war_8_1

    From a speech he gave presenting the African Peace Award to Mozambique in November 1997 


  • images2Fslides2FAs_no_man_is_an_island...._8_1

    From a speech made in Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden, in March 1990 


  • images2Fslides2FI_am_nearing_my_end_8_1

    From a speech at the Potchefstroom University in South Africa in February 1996


  • images2Fslides2FOut_of_the_experience_of_an_extraordinary_human_disaster..._8_1

    From Mandela’s inaugural address as the president of South Africa on May 10, 1994 


  • images2Fslides2FI_would_love_to_enjoy_the_peace_and_quiet_of_retirement..._8_1

    Mandela at his second 46664 concert for AIDS relief in Cape Town in March 2005 


  • images2Fslides2FAt_each_turn_in_history_apartheid_was_bound..._8_1

    From Mandela’s address on the 20th anniversary of Steve Biko’s death on Sept. 12, 1997 


  • images2Fslides2FNo_power_on_earth_can_stop_an_oppressed_people..._7_1

    From the “The Struggle Is My Life” press statement from June 26, 1961 


  • images2Fslides2FTo_overthrow_oppression_has_been_sanctioned...._8_1

    From Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom


  • images2Fslides2FA_movement_without_a_vision_would_be...._8_1

    From an address at Mandela’s investiture as doctor of laws on August 1, 1993 


  • images2Fslides2FLet_it_never_be_said_by_future_generations...._2__1_1

    From remarks delivered at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Norway on Dec. 10, 1993