J2886

Celebrating the life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela

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J2886


LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION celebrating the life and accomplishments of
Nelson Mandela, civil rights leader and prominent freedom fighter, and
commemorating the 24th Anniversary of his visit to New York City and the
speech he presented to the people of Harlem

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body, in keeping with its
time-honored traditions, to recognize and pay tribute to those extraor-
dinary individuals who foster ethnic pride and enhance the profile of
cultural diversity which strengthens the fabric of the communities of
New York State; Nelson Mandela was one such individual; and
WHEREAS, Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to celebrate
the life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela, civil rights leader and
prominent freedom fighter, and to commemorate the 24th Anniversary of
his visit to New York City and the speech he presented to the people of
Harlem; and
WHEREAS, On June 22, 1990, Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, made a
worldly homecoming to New York City--as a crucial component of the
unstinting quest to end apartheid--as part of his visit, Mr. Mandela was
greeted by over 150,000 people as his motorcade moved from Queens
through Brooklyn; he spoke to a crowd of over 100,000 people in Harlem;
he addressed a crowd at the world-renowned Riverside Church--where he
would later be memorialized--guided by former Manhattan Borough Presi-
dent and then-Mayor of New York City, David Dinkins; he addressed the
United Nations Special Committee on Apartheid; was feted with a ticker-
tape parade in Manhattan down the Canyon of Heroes culminating in a
speech to over 200,000 at New York City Hall and made remarks to a
packed house at Yankee Stadium to conclude this day of inspiration; and
WHEREAS, On this day, Nelson Mandela was welcomed with open arms by
over 100,000 people in Harlem who identified in him, as daughters and
sons of Africa, a commonality of struggle, singularity of hope and unity
of cause in fighting racism and oppression the world over; and
WHEREAS, In his speech to the people of Harlem, which took place at
the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Adam Clayton Powell,
Jr. Boulevards in the middle of African Square, Nelson Mandela high-
lighted the common bond and mutual inspiration shared amongst all those
gathered, saying "Whilst my comrades and I were in prison, we followed
closely your own struggle against the injustices of racist discrimi-
nation and economic inequality. We were and are aware of the resistance
of the people of Harlem and continue to be inspired by your indomitable
fighting spirit. I am able to speak to you because of the mass resist-
ance of our people and the unceasing solidarity of millions throughout
the world. It is you, the working people of Harlem, that helped make it
happen"; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela's homecoming in Harlem occurred on the same
day he delivered his famous speech to the United Nations Special Commit-
tee on Apartheid; as such, it was a befitting and appropriate bookend
that ended with many of the same universal words of truth and power,
including "The light at the end of the tunnel is beckoning"..."But we
are not yet there; Let us act in unity. Let us double and redouble our
efforts"; and
WHEREAS, Nelson Mandela's presence in Harlem was an event of unparal-
leled inspiration to a local and global community that saw in him,
everything about themselves and the pillars of struggle and hope that
unite us all; the evening ended with a resounding and redoubling chorus
of the chant: "And We Will Not Give Up The Fight!"; now, therefore, be
it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
celebrate the life and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela, civil rights
leader and prominent freedom fighter, and to commemorate the 24th Anni-
versary of his visit to New York City and the speech he presented to the
people of Harlem; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of Nelson Mandela.

actions

  • 10 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • 14 / Jan / 2014
    • REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • 14 / Jan / 2014
    • ADOPTED

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative

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