Statement of Honorable Renee Baskerville, M.D

Sunday, December 8th, 2013 @ 11:00PM

Montclair?s Fourth Ward and I celebrate with profound appreciation and thanksgiving the life and legacy of President Nelson Mandela.

President Mandela modeled for the world the best of human kind. His sacrificial living; optimism and determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds; his courage, unfaltering pursuit of justice and equity; his robust conscience and zestful spirit; confidence, humility, forgiveness and faith will teach humankind through the ages, how to live the Word. Nelson Mandela modeled the manner in which beings, no matter their station in life, can transform a nation and the world with passion and perseverance; sacrifice, struggle, suffering, and unyielding affirmative actions.

Many from the Township of Montclair played vitally important roles in shaping and swelling the ranks of the Free South Africa Movement of the early 80s that assisted in toppling Apartheid. As a medical student, resident and early practitioner, I remember organizing and joining my colleagues in campus and corporate protests urging the divestment of all holdings in companies doing business with apartheid state South Africa. Among the targets of our actions were DeBeers Jewelry, Shell Oil and Rutgers University.

I thank the Honorable Nelson Mandela for the tremendous lessons he taught and left for the freedom fighters of today and tomorrow, the statesmen and stateswomen of today and tomorrow, Heads of State for generations to come and ordinary people who may be inspired by his life to give more of theirs to serve humanity.

My fervent prayer is that the ultimate ?freeing? of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela on December 4, 2013 will cause more of us to work aggressively and strategically on the challenges of today: growing economic disparity, sustained health disparities, sustained education attainment and achievement gaps climate change; religious and ethnic strife, with a heart full of love and soul generated by grace.

Good night , sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!  FREE AT LAST !


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