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Two Heroes

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In the history of the society's development, there are true heroes who dedicated their lives to making this world better; Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela are among them. Parks was a significant figure who pioneered the civil rights movement. Her refusal to yield a seat to a white person was the beginning of fighting racial segregation. After being arrested for this brave deed, she tried to seek justice at court, but it was in vain. Then Parks and other activists organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott and made the Supreme Court admit that there was no place for racial segregation anymore. Mandela was an outstanding person who made everything possible to end apartheid. His aim was to make South Africa a multiracial, democratic, and free country, and he succeeded in doing it which brought him fame and respect worldwide. After a long 27-year imprisonment for fighting apartheid, he was elected as the head of South Africa. Mandela brought the greatest change, because his courageous fight for freedom turned out effective and contributed to the end many people's sufferings.  

In the middle of the twentieth century, in the capital of Alabama as well as many other cities, the public transportation was not integrated. African-Americans had to enter the transport through the front door, purchase a ticket, go out, and then re-enter through the back door. There were instances when they did not manage to reach the back of the transport in time, and the transport started to move without them. At that time, African-Americans had no right to occupy forward seats. As a result, it was not always easy for them to move towards the door to go out at their stops. If all seats for white people were occupied, they were allowed to ask an African-American to stand up. Four African-Americans, including Parks, were demanded to stand up for one white male to occupy their seats. They did not move, then the driver threatened them, only Parks did not stand up. Then, the driver threatened to call police, but she remained uncompromised. For her deed, “Missis Parks was booked, fingerprinted, jailed and fined 14 dollars” (“Mrs. Rosa Parks”, n.d.). In South Africa, the middle of the twentieth century was the time of the institutionalization of the apartheid law. Laws related to race concerned all spheres of civil life. For example, it was forbidden for blacks to marry white individuals. There also appeared jobs that were available for white people only; blacks were not allowed to vote. Blacks who dared to protest against this regime were subjected to whippings, imprisonment, and big fines. Moreover, “All blacks were required to carry ‘pass books’ containing fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas” (“The History of Apartheid”, n.d.). Mandela became the leader of the agency that opposed these laws. For the protest, he and other activists were convicted, which became the outset of his long path of fighting.  

Parks’ role in fighting segregation was pioneering. After her arrest, fifty leading figures of their community gathered nd decided to outlaw segregation at court. That meeting was outstanding, because Dr. Martin Luther King was present there, as well. The group required an individual whose reputation was flawless, and Parks met this requirement, because the members of their community respected her. Besides succeeding in ending the segregation, Parks was the person who inspired the movement. Before the bus story, she was not passive either. For example, she refused to use the elevator for African-Americans and walked instead; she preferred to stay thirsty but not to drink from fountains for African-Americans; she used segregated public transport only when there was no other opportunity to get somewhere. As for Mandela, he had to flee the country using a fake name. He went to England to ask for help with the military struggle. Then, in Ethiopia and Morocco, he underwent military practices to return with the necessary skills for the struggle. He had to spend five years in prison because of illegal leaving. Then, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage. “In 1990, he was released nine days after the unbanning of the ANC and the PAC” (“Biography of Nelson Mandela”, n. d.). He became the head of the ANC and won a Nobel Prize. Soon, he was finally allowed to vote.

Mandela made a larger contribution making this world better. His life was tough, but he did not even think about giving up: arrests, prison, and constant threats did not stop this leader. He was the person who did not fear to stand against the whole system, no matter how cruel that system was. He was stubborn and kept fighting. His efforts freed the whole country, and it made him a rather prominent activist.

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