John Bowe's Essay 'Does Slavery Exist In America?'

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The Declaration of the Rights of Man states that “men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.” Chapter 115 from Long Road to Freedom by Nelson Mandela supports the idea it is the citizens duty to fight for civil rights and social justice. This chapter shows us how big of an impact just one person can make in the struggle for equality. However, we contradicting ideas in John Bowe’s article, “Nobodies: Does Slavery Exist in America?” This article shows us that men may not be equal, and citizens are going out of their way to ensure that it stays that way. This brings us to the question, can you successfully fight to achieve your good life? Many would claim that you can if you put…show more content…
The first piece of evidence supporting the idea that Mandela has not fully obtained the good life comes from his quote, “my family paid a terrible price, perhaps too dear a price, for my commitment” (Mandela 435). He clearly recognizes how far he has come in his civil rights, and is grateful for it, but here he shows what he has lost to get to that point, and how it still affects him today. This is an important part of his speech because it is the first indicator that Nelson Mandela may not be as happy as he always appears to be. Another part of his speech that strongly supports this theory is when he says, “That was my mission…some say that has now been achieved. But I know that is not the case…we are not free yet” (Mandela 437). This quote is viewed as inspiring and people say it is a great end to the speech to let people know that they have to fight for equality as he did. However, I view this quote almost as a sign of defeat. He seems to acknowledge the fact that what he made his mission from the day he got out of prison has not been achieved yet. I interpret it as a white flag near the end of a battle, a

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