P
hotographer Scott Stallard has shared a unique signed letter written by Nelson Mandela and sent to an American pastor in 1993, praising Martin Luther King Jr.

The letter has taken on added poignancy since the death of Mandela, described by some as a ‘secular saint’.

Mr Stallard explained to the Bermuda Sun how he obtained the letter and it’s significance, saying: “I obtained this rare letter at an auction in the US.

“It came with the original envelope and the following statement from the auction house: ‘Fighting for the same cause on separate continents, King and Mandela are historically and intellectually intertwined, both becoming internationally recognized symbols of equality itself. 

‘With the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s, King began to see his vision of an equal America take hold before his death in 1968.

‘Meanwhile, Mandela was imprisoned in South Africa for his activism against its institutionally racist apartheid regime — at the time he wrote this letter, he had been free for just two years and the era of Apartheid was drawing to a close. 

‘Segregative legislation began to be dismantled in 1990, but the official “end” to Apartheid is usually recognized as the 1994 general election, South Africa’s first fully democratic, multiracial election.

‘Mandela won the presidency and invited Coretta Scott King to his inauguration, invoking her husband’s famous words during his speech: “This is one of the most important moments in the life of our country…we can loudly proclaim from the rooftops—Free at last, free at last!”’