Nelson Mandela was much more than South Africa’s first black head of state. He has become a world-wide symbol for peace, tolerance, social justice and racial reconciliation. Mandela served 27 years in prison for his activism to end apartheid. He was released in 1990 and won the country’s first multiracial general election four years later. He created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a way to come to terms with the human rights abuses of the past and open the door to a free democracy. Mandela’s “long walk to freedom” is a testament to human endurance, the evils of apartheid, the determination to overcome.