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A legacy transcends the politics of political perceptions

Derek Joy

Derek Joy

A legacy transcends the politics of political perceptions

By Derek Joy

     And so it is. . .

South Florida can relish the status of having five high school football teams win a State Championship.

Broward’s American Heritage joined Miami Dade County’s Champagnat Catholic, Booker T. Washington, Miami Central and South Dade as reigning Florida State High School Football Champions.

They fashioned a legacy through discipline, dedication, sacrifice and hard work. Perception can’t change the value of their accomplishments. It is theirs for a life time.

As their legacies came to fruition, Nelson Mandela’s legacy took flight at his funeral services.

His legacy was 95 years in the making. Courageous exploits as a freedom fighter against Apartheid that Europeans forced on Africans in their homeland. This fight included 27-years in prison.

For sure. The fight for freedom continued after his release from prison. So, too did his fight against injustice, against apartheid and for human rights. They were battles that could not be fought by a lesser human being.

Perhaps, one can gain added perspective of Mandela’s legacy from eloquent words of prominent Miami Attorney H. T. Smith, who organized a tourism boycott when Mandela, on his 1992 visit to Miami, was disrespected by Miami’s Cuban American political leaders and the Hispanic community in general.

“He forgave his oppressors,” said Smith. “That showed he was a bigger man than they were.”

That forgiveness strengthened his resolve. He fought on. Apartheid came to an end. And Mandela became President of South Africa. Each accomplishment was a championship in its own right.

True. Evildoers, however secretive they may exist, will always attempt to minimize the greatness of Mandela’s legacy. Some will even try to discredit and destroy the truth of his works.

Such misguided deeds and unjust acts will simply crumble as did Apartheid in Africa, as slavery in America.

Of course, the obvious value of his legacy is that the world is a much better place because of him. And the human race is better because of him.

Therein lays the unmistakable value of a legacy that transcends the boundaries associated with the politics of political perception. Mandela lived that way with purpose.

Believe it or not, in a rather obscure way, each of the student athletes on those five Florida State High School Football Championship teams embodied such principles on their respective journeys.

Their legacies, like Mandela’s legacy of greatness, bear an enduring value.


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