Nelson Mandela – Why I Am Ready To Die

Ember Records 1964

This album captures an abridged section of, what was, Nelson Mandela’s own defense statement whilst up before court faced with a sabotage offence in 1962. A crime that went hand in hand with the death penalty for those proven guilty. The original speech took Nelson Mandela four and a half hours to deliver to the jury, and this album allows us to hear a few of those precious words, Peter Finch, one of the most respected actors of the day takes on the task of delivering the words on the recording, and does it with emotion, and sincerity. The album also comes complete with six freedom songs from the 60s, rounding off a very special vinyl asset, and one that would rest comfortably within any record collection. Out on a British label, it came as quite a surprise to find this extremely difficult to obtain, but one seriously worthy of the extra effort. Steve Williams

“The lack of human dignity experienced by Africans is the direct result of the policy of white supremacy. White supremacy implies black inferiority. Legislation designed to preserve white supremacy entrenches this notion. Menial tasks in South Africa are invariably performed by Africans. When anything has to be carried or cleaned, the white man will look around for an African to do it for him, whether the African is employed by him or not. Because of this sort of attitude, whites tend to regard Africans as a separate breed. They do not look upon them as people with families of their own. They do not realize that they have emotions. That they fall in love like white people do. That they want to be with their wives and children, like white people want to be with theirs. That they want to earn enough money to support their families properly, to feed and clothe them, and to send them to school.” Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela