We also visited the Ohlange High School and saw the place where Mandela chose to cast his first vote in a democratic election in April 1994. Mandela observed that before casting his vote, he thought about all of the leaders who sacrificed their lives so that he could be in that voting booth.
Most fascinating is the fact that Dube and his school are literally just up the road from Mahatma Gandhi’s compound, where that leader spent 20 years.
Gandhi, a Hindu, and Dube, a Christian, were working out their strategies and tactics in proximity and in mutual admiration and awareness of the other. This example of two communities learning, struggling for justice and helping to build a better nation is inspiring for us today.
Robert Franklin is senior adviser on community and diversity to the provost at Emory University.