Op-Ed
Photo: Tshepo Masango Chéry

A South African Professor Recalls Exchanging Letters in Exile with Archbishop Desmond Tutu

With Archbishop Desmond Tutu being laid to rest this past weekend, a professor, who moved to Atlanta as a young child with her family during apartheid, remembers the personal memories she has of "Uncle Des."

When I was in the first grade, I invited Archbishop Desmond Tutu to visit my class. Three years later, he showed up.

As a seven-year-old, living in my new home in Atlanta, I had found a children’s biography of Archbishop Tutu in my school library. I promptly wrote my name on the little card in the back cover and borrowed it. Tutu’s story hit especially close to home, partly because it was—I had fled South Africa without my parents at the age of six because of my parents’ own engagement with the anti-apartheid struggle.

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