Local Professor Reflects on Mandela's Life

BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) -- A professor at Bridgewater College used to teach in South Africa and believes we can all learn something from Nelson Mandela.

Jamie Frueh, an associate professor of history and political science at Bridgewater takes a group of students to South Africa every year.

He said Mandela's death is putting everything he did back into the spotlight.

Frueh moved to South Africa in 1989 to be a volunteer high school teacher in the countryside.

He taught many black students and he said being able to see the joy that spread around the country after Mandela was released from prison and later elected president was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Frueh said they apartheid system was basically legal racism and Mandela's ability to bring South Africa together is something we can all learn from.

"His ability to make sense of an unjust system and to come out in a way that focused on a new place that was worthy of the beautiful people that I know in South Africa is a real opportunity for students to understand they too can make a difference in the world," said Frueh.

Upon hearing the news Thursday, Frueh says he was sad; however, he said Mandela's legacy and messages of peace and forgiveness are things that will absolutely live on.

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