On Feb. 11, 1990, upon his release from prison, Nelson Mandela stood on the steps of City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa. He told the gather crowd of more than 100,000 people to seize what he called "a decisive moment." In the audio above, you can listen to a segment of that speech.
For 27 years, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for his fight against South Africa's apartheid regime. Saki Macozoma served time on Robben Island alongside Mandela in the 1970s, and he joins Robert Siegel to remember Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95.
NPR's former South Africa correspondent John Matisonn worked for Nelson Mandela, helping the leader improve his media savvy after he was released from prison on Robben Island. Matisonn remembers Mandela's keen intelligence and resilience. Matisonn tells Robert Siegel the Nobel Peace Prize recipient emphasized that he was an ordinary man, and insisted he was no saint.
President Obama addressed the nation Thursday after news that former South African president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela died, saying the world lost an influential, courageous and "profoundly good" man.
A big ruling on whether poor criminal defendants have the right to a lawyer came this week. A judge in Washington state finds two cities have systematically violated the rights of indigent defendants by providing them with lawyers who spent less than one hour on their cases.
Multi-music hyphenate Pharrell Williams hit it big earlier this year with the song, "Blurred Lines," which he co-wrote. Now Williams has blurred the lines of what makes a music video. The 24-hour-long music video for his new single, "Happy," has people dancing and lip-synching down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles as the song loops over and over. Mimi Valdes, Williams' creative director, was on set for every day of the 11-day shoot, and she tells Robert Siegel and Melissa Block about the process.
Taylor Muse is the 31-year-old bandleader and songwriter of Quiet Company, an indie-rock band from Austin. A native of East Texas raised in a Southern Baptist church, he now reluctantly carries the banner of "that atheist rocker from Austin."
"Every band that I was in up until college was a Christian band," Muse says. "It was part of our identity as people, our identity as a community. It was everything."