I LOVE HISTORY …and research!!! My man Smitty has encouraged me to talk about the…

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G Jose James posted in I LOVE HISTORY …and research!!!
G Jose James
G Jose James 8 December 14:10

My man Smitty has encouraged me to talk about the late former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and the country during the relevant period, and going forward. Therefore, I won’t wait the usual 40 days following his transition, but rather, following the lead of the South African government I will observe a 10 day period, before commenting substantively. Smitty was among a group of friends and associates that worked with me on a South Africa project in 1998. Smitty is the bearded brother pictured at an event we produced that was hosted by the South African Consulate in New York City.

By way of background, I watched the release of Nelson Mandela on TV in 1990 while in my Harlem office (printing & public relations) talking with my cousin Roscoe Orman, in utter amazement… After so doing, I decided to call the South African Consulate and inquire whether I still had some political chips that I could cash in. During the previous three years I was contacted unsolicited on a regular basis by Mr. Chris Badenhorse Deputy Consul General of the Republic of South Africa, extending an invitation to me to visit South Africa for a personal fact finding visit. Mr. Badenhorse would make the point that the South African government was in the process of negotiation for the eminent release of Nelson Mandela from prison, and that the government was interested in reaching out to people like me to investigate the objective facts on the ground for their own edification. On these various occasions I declined this attractive all expenses paid invitation, primarily because I would necessarily have to travel as an “honorary” white person, which I objected to doing. The Deputy Consul General would than name the various black leaders that accepted a similar invitation, but I didn’t find the prominent list of black leaders he mentioned particularly impressive. However, after viewing Mandela’s release on TV, I decided to check-in with the consulate and inquire if I can now take up the fact finding invitation as an honorary black person. I was still in good standing with the South African Consulate and we subsequently negotiated an action packed itinerary that included 21 days visiting Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg, East London and Natal. Accompanying me during this fact finding mission was Rev. B. Leslie James and we established contacts with all sectors of South Africa society.

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