After the death of Nelson Mandela, there have been many tributes paid to this hero of the South African anti-Apartheid movement, and the global fight for equality. Since I heard Hugh Masekela’s “Bring Him Back Home” I’ve been singing it to myself constantly. There are just a few lines of text, but the unmitigated joy in this melody is unforgettable, and its among the most fitting tributes to Mandela that I’ve heard in music. This song was written while Mandela was imprisoned, and it became an anthem for those who were working towards freeing him.
We can all work towards social justice in the arts
Our work in the arts keeps us thinking about all kinds of issues, from promotion to practicing, and it can get overwhelming. Sometimes, the last thing on your mind is social justice, but I encourage everyone to remember that no matter your work, you can continue to build a robust, supportive, and diverse community around you. Fortunately for all of us regular people, no one expects you to achieve so much as Mandela did, but the small steps you take to build more just community will benefit you and will benefit us all. You can read more about my thoughts on community building in the arts in this post.
Enjoy Hugh Masekela’s beautiful tribute to Nelson Mandela!