This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for October 7, 2017: Elegy

October 7, 2017: birthday: Desmond Tutu

It’s the birthday of the religious leader Desmond Tutu, born in Klerksdorp, South Africa, (1931). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his role in the opposition to apartheid in South Africa. In 1986, he was elected the first black archbishop of Cape Town, the head of South Africa’s 1,600,000-member Anglican Church. And in 1995, South African President Nelson Mandela appointed him head of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, which investigated apartheid-era human rights abuses.

Tutu said: “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.”

He also said: “How does peace come? Peace doesn’t come because allies agree. Allies are allies — they already agree! Peace comes when you talk to the guy you most hate. And that’s where the courage of a leader comes.”