A Recent White House Visit From Members of The Mandela Family

On Tuesday, four American Presidents traveled to Johannesburg to pay tribute to the former South African President, Nelson Mandela.  As President Obama addressed the crowd, and greeted Madiba’s extended family of South African citizens, I was reminded of a more intimate gathering earlier this year. 

In November, 2013, President Obama invited members of the Mandela family to the White House for a screening of "Long Walk to Freedom," a film based on Mandela's autobiography. Take a look at this short video, featuring informal reflections by the President, the Mandela family, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Donald Gips, and the film’s star, Idris Elba.

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The atmosphere in Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium was thick with both heartache and prideful exuberance on Tuesday, as the world joined South Africa in honoring the man they called Madiba. The film, and Tuesday’s tribute each highlighted Mandela’s enduring grace and humility, as he showed the world the true strength of the human spirit, and the power of united people to accomplish anything. 


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Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama
Related Topics: Inside the White House
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