Mandela's legacy remembered in East Tennessee

Mandela's legacy remembered in East Tennessee

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East Tennessee is remembering Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95. East Tennessee is remembering Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95.
"He dedicated his life to fight for the voiceless," Dr. Amadou Sall said, talking about Mandela. "I always try to get them to think about what they can do in the community." "He dedicated his life to fight for the voiceless," Dr. Amadou Sall said, talking about Mandela. "I always try to get them to think about what they can do in the community."
"Mandela did that for his people. He planted a seed within the community. And I feel like a seed has been planted in me. I want to go out and help," Ashley Shafer said. "Mandela did that for his people. He planted a seed within the community. And I feel like a seed has been planted in me. I want to go out and help," Ashley Shafer said.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – East Tennessee is remembering Nelson Mandela, who died at the age of 95.

He was imprisoned for 27 years before leading South Africa out of its dark days of apartheid.

UT Professor of Africana Studies Dr. Amadou Sall tells us he uses Mandela as a role model for his students.

He teaches them to look for ways  they can make a social difference in Knoxville. Earlier this year, he took a group of students to South Africa to help drive home that message.

"He dedicated his life to fight for the voiceless," Dr. Sall said, talking about Mandela. "I always try to get them to think about what they can do in the community. What Mandela has done didn't stay in South Africa, it went all over the world," he explained.

The students who went to South Africa spent a month in an incredibly poor community, building a garden, and doing what they could to help. Part of their trip was a visit to Robben Island, the awful prison where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years behind bars.

"Most of them came back with a different mindset about life and the issues of poverty, that it's not just somewhere else," Dr. Sall said.

Student Ashley Shaffer says she finds herself a little more selfless, doing more volunteer work, and even checking on her neighbors.

"Mandela did that for his people. He planted a seed within the community. And I feel like a seed has been planted in me. I want to go out and help," Ashley said.

Dr. Sall says that's the beauty of Mandela's life. He may be gone from earth, but his spirit and legacy live on.

"For us, he'll always be one of our ancestors. Someone we will invoke when we need him. He will be a part of us. He's not gone," Dr. Sall said.

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