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The Boston Globe


Nelson Mandela’s 1990 visit left lasting impression

For days before Nelson Mandela arrived in Boston on his 1990 US tour, Madison Park High School in Roxbury crackled with anticipation. When the day of Mandela’s visit finally arrived, students lucky enough to be in the audience packed into a stifling gym hours ahead of time to stake out their spot.

Celestino DePina was there in the roaring crowd, a 16-year-old who had come to Boston two years earlier from his native Cape Verde and who looked to the South African leader as a hero. Seeing Mandela, free from prison after 27 years, was an indelible, inspiring experience, he said.

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