The first time I heard the word “divestment” was April 1985. I was inching towards the close of my freshman year at Rutgers University while simultaneously stepping towards my first political protest and rally. I had read snippets in the Daily Targum, the university’s newspaper, about students camping outside the student center and going on hunger strikes, but I really had no idea why. I was young, naive and unworldly, having nary a clue about apartheid and states of emergency in a land so far away. But there I was, camera in hand observing and documenting at the edge of the crowd, determined to stretch my nascent journalist eye and bring back something for my college’s newspaper.
Nearly a year ago, I published several of these photos in a blog post called Musings on divestment, past, present, and future. An editorial researcher from New Jersey Public Television found the post and the images and phoned me the morning after news of Nelson Mandela’s passing. They wanted permission to use them in a piece they were producing to air on the evening news program. Mandela’s Life, Legacy Recalled features four images which appear beginning at 00:50.
What an honor have my work included in a piece with two icons of our lifetime: Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama. Rest in peace, Madiba.