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Apartheid might not have ended in South Africa if it weren’t for the help of African Americans. Jesse Jackson spoke with Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to talk about contributions to end apartheid as well as how Nelson Mandela was viewed after he became the first Black president of South Africa.

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“Once he [Mandela] won the battle, Whites feared that he would engage in retribution,” said Jackson. “He said, ‘There’s no future in retribution. The future is in voting. You don’t realize who you are and who I am.’”

Jackson also went over the parallels between civil rights in the United States and apartheid,  “The parallelisms run infinitely,” he said, “and many of them [South Africans] got their education here.”

Jackson also recounted how he, along with other notable figures in the Black community, such as Radio One’s own *Cathy Hughes, Maxine Waters, and Harry Belafonte, raised money to end apartheid.

Finally, Jackson discussed how difficult it was to be South African in America after apartheid ended. “Anything South African became toxic,” he said. “Even today we’re much better off than South Africans. We freed them of the pariah status.”

*Cathy Hughes is the founder and chairperson of Radio One (which owns TV One and Interactive One, parent company of

Jesse Jackson On Civil Rights, Apartheid: Movements Had A Lot In Common  was originally published on