Obama Family Visit Mandela's Former Prison

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama tour Robben Island. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sunday, President Obama, along with his family, visited Robben Island and the prison where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Obama's tour of the prison at Robben Island was something of a symbolic union between the first African American president of the United States and the first black president of South Africa. The long-distance tribute would have to stand for a face-to-face meeting during Obama's tour of Africa, as Mandela, 94, remained hospitalized in critical condition in Pretoria.

Obama first went to the site in 2006 as a young U.S. senator touring the continent where his father was born. He returned just seven years later as a gray-haired president with an entourage of security, prying media and his family: First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, mother-in-law Marian Robinson and niece Leslie Robinson.

The group was led through the tour by former prisoner Ahmed Kathrada, among the 33 anti-apartheid leaders imprisoned with Mandela. Kathrada, Mandela and other prisoners spent hours toiling in the bleak quarry, under the eye of a watchtower, eating lunch and using a bucket for a toilet in the same cave.


Read more at the Los Angeles Times.

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