Benjamin Pogrund's Favourite Mandela Story

© Eric Miller

Same Problems

Among the many, many wonderful stories about Mandela my favourite is the one told to me by Jules Browde, the well-known Johannesburg white lawyer who defended people in political trials in the apartheid era. Years ago I used the story in a small book about Mandela meant for high school students. Browde recalls telling Mandela that he and his wife were going out one night and their son of four was being left with a black nanny and cried, 'I don't want to be left with a black face.' Browde told Mandela he could not understand it, 'We are liberal people and there is no trace of racism in our home.' Mandela said he had the same problem at home, in reverse: white friends had recently visited and when they left his child had said, 'Why do you have white people here?' Mandela said he replied, 'Not all white people have white hearts. Some
have black hearts.'