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A Shining Torch of Hope is Passed in South Africa by Steve Payne

Author says, the story so far: the October 2009 Edition of Changing the Times featured Part 1 of our South African Tragedy - during 1986 Nelson Mandela contracts tuberculosis from the damp prison cells on Robben Island. His wife Winnie is the head of Mandela United, a fast-growing private army threatening to liberate the country by force. Prime Minister P.W. Botha offers a secret deal: freedom on the single pre-condition of "unconditionally rejecting violence as a political instrument". We discover that all is not lost in Part 2, and just maybe Mandela's overarching vision of a Rainbow Nation will survive the Fall of Apartheid.

In 1974, the publication on this day of the novel "Natty Dread" marked the emergence of a new and powerful father of the Beat Generation, the celebrated Anglo-Jamaican author Nesta Robert ("Bob") Marley.

Marley's genius was to imbue the "Spontaneous Prose" of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" with the raw vibrance of the Jamaican patois language, powerfully articulating a nostalgic remembrance of growing up in the ghetto in Kingston and the happiness brought by the company of friends.
Listen No Woman, No Cry

A Shining Torch of Hope is Passed

This breaktaking novel credits "Vincent Ford" (nicknamed "Tartar"), a close friend of the author's who ran a soup kitchen on the streets of Trenchtown; the royalty checks received by Ford ensured the survival and continual running of his soup kitchen. And this social activism highlighted something new for this literary genre, the replacement of hopelessness with Marley's spiritually charged political and social statement to "Lively Up Yourself". Because Marley claimed he would have starved to death on several occasions as a child if not for the aid of Tartar.

"Georgie would make the fire lights, as it was logwood burnin' through the nights. Then we would cook cornmeal porridge, of which I'll share with you" During the late twentieth century, Marley would become a key driving force in the African diaspora, seeking to usher in a golden age of peace, righteousness, and prosperity. As a member of a Commonwealth mediation effort, the Eminent Persons Group, Marley visited Nelson Mandela three times in Pollsmoor prison outside Cape Town in 1986.

On the final prison visit, Marley discovered that Mandela was dying from tuberculosis caused by the damp prison cells of Robben Island. Mandela ordered Marley to play a leading role in the transition to a new Rainbow nation in South Africa, a task he was uniquely well qualified for by being of dual heritage.

"My feet is my only carriage, so I've got to push on through."Because Marley had explained to Mandela that "I don't have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don't dip on nobody's side. Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side. Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white".

Author says, please note that extensive amounts of content have been repurposed from the source article. The album Natty Dread was published on this day 25th October 1974 and the second track is No Woman, No Cry (actually, No Woman, Dont Cry).

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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