Nelson Mandela addressed the United States from the pulpit of the historic Riverside Church in New York City on July 2nd, 1990, after his release from prison. The interfaith "Service of Thanksgiving for Nelson Mandela" continues Mandela's strong stand against racism and fight for justice.
Four months after he was freed, Mandela toured the United States for six weeks to raise funds for the African National Congress, visiting New York, Boston, Washington, Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Oakland.
In his speech Mandela declared, "South Africans must learn to live together and resolve our differences peacefully. Alternatively, the future is very dark."
He urged, "My appeal to all people of goodwill today is to stand firm. Your message to the de Klerk government, and to your own legislators if necessary, must leave no doubt as to what the oppressed in South Africa and freedom-loving people the world over demand- it is democracy!"