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Nelson Mandela’s legacy is one of hope in the innate goodness of humanity and inspiration for everyone to believe in the power of forgiveness. While we all mourn the loss of “our greatest son, as South African president, Jacob Zuma stated when he announced the tragic news, we smile knowing that Mandela’s life was not in vain. He lived to inspire the world and will continue to inspire, even in death.

Must Read: “Free Mandela!”: Remembering The Man & Slogan That Inspired A Global Movement

Many celebrities and dignitaries have been reacting to Mandela’s death, and we got our hands on some pretty moving videos of celebs and dignitaries like Idris Elba, Reverend Al Sharpton, Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend and anti-Apartheid activist, Jeanette Carlson, among many others, sharing their stories on how Mandela’s life inspired them. Take a look:

“I think he’s one of the most influential people of our generation, one of the most important stories of our generation.” “Nelson Mandela” in “Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom” Idris Elba

“I’m inspired by Nelson Mandela because he represents the symbol of forgiveness, which was healing not just to South Africa, but a gift to the rest of the world as well.”

“Winnie Mandela” in “Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom” Naomi Harris

“Everything humanly possible you could do to someone, other than kill them, they did, yet he maintained his dignity and determination. And then [he] forgave them for what they did. That’s why Nelson Mandela reached a level and a class all to himself.” -Reverend Al Sharpton

“The world will never forget Nelson Mandela because he changed what could have been a war with millions killed, into a situation where understanding peace and rebuilding would take the place of destruction, war and killing.” –Anti-Apartheid Activist Jeanette Carlson

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