Sunday, February 3, 2008

Robben Island


Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island.















Exercise area near Mandela’s cell where prisoners relayed information to each other by inserting messages in tennis balls that would then “accidently” get lobbed into other areas of the prison.



Prisoners were segregated by race, with black prisoners receiving the fewest rations. Political prisoners were kept separate from ordinary criminals and received fewer privileges. Mandela, as a D-group prisoner (the lowest classification), was allowed one visitor and one letter every 6 months. Most letters were made unreadable by prison authorities and visitors turned away without prisoners’ knowledge. 3,000+ men working to abolish apartheid were incarcerated as political prisoners on Robben Island.
Quarry where Mandela and other prisoners physically picked away at stone while mentally and spiritually continuing to spearhead the struggle against apartheid.

Though I have yet to read it, "A Long Walk to Freedom" is said to be a stellar account of Mandela's life, written in great part during his imprisonment on Robben Island.