BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The year was 1985 and all over the world people were taking to the streets calling for an end to Apartheid the official policy of social and economic segregation practiced in South Africa. One such protest happened in Buffalo and at the center of it all was Nelson Mandela.
"Free Mandela was a major rallying cry at that particular time period," said Dr. Anthony Neal.
Buffalo State Political Science Professor Dr. Anthony Neal believes those protests largely fueled by Mandela's release from prison helped end Apartheid.
"When Mandela was released from prison and became president I know he came to America to thank Americans for their protests and to keep the struggle alive to keep it before the news," said Dr. Neal.
"Nelson Mandela lived for that ideal and he made it real. He achieved more than could be expected of any man," said President Obama.
I think it's important for us to realize just how he was castigated during Apartheid. His image was banned you really basically couldn't mention Mandela, he was called a communist, he was called a terrorist, and oftentimes you don't, the cliche is you don't know what you got 'til it's gone," said Dr. Neal.
Now with Mandela's passing and Apartheid a thing of the past, Dr. Neal believes Mandela has more than earned his rightful place in history.
"Mandela will have massive legacy in regards to the human rights movement the ending of Apartheid and freedom struggles all around the world," said Dr. Neal.