Open Letter to The Charlotte Observer (unpublished in the paper), December 17, 2013:
It is with sadness but not regret that I note the passing of Nelson Mandela, South African revolutionary turned president turned elder statesman for the world.
Like President Obama, my first serious political involvement was in the anti-apartheid movement. In my case, I chaired the Southern African Awareness Committee (SoAAC) as an undergraduate at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) in 1989 and 1990, during the global divestment effort.
Unlike President Obama, however, I took a more circuitous route through adulthood. I became a poet. My most recent publication is in the NC anthology, The Best of the Final Friday Reading Series, which just came out in November, 2013, in Charlotte.
Nelson Mandela serves as an inspiration and ideal, now, for all of us, not only for presidents and leaders the world over. I commend your coverage.