Perceptions Of Mandela Changed Radically Over Time

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A young girl with a placard showing the face of Nelson Mandela and referring to his clan name
A young girl with a placard showing the face of Nelson Mandela and referring to his clan name "Madiba", marches with others to celebrate his life. (Ben Curtis/AP)

The world is remembering former South African leader Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at 95. Today, he’s considered a hero for his fight against white rule in South Africa, but that’s a very different perception from the one that many once held. Bob Massie, author of “Loosing the Bonds: The United States and South Africa in the Apartheid Years,” joined WBUR’s Morning Edition to compare the image of Nelson Mandela at his death to perceptions of him when he was imprisoned.