Maya Angelou is a poet, author and a civil rights pioneer. She wrote and recited a tribute to Nelson Mandela on behalf of the American people. It was posted online by the State Department. She has also known Mandela for decades and spoke to Anderson about his enduring impact.
Nelson Mandela is celebrated for bringing South Africa together through reconciliation, forgiveness and non-violence. But decades earlier, Mandela and other African National Congress members were accused of trying to overthrow the South African government by force. In fact, Mandela remained on the U.S. terrorism watch list until 2008. Jill Dougherty looks at Mandela's journey.
Robyn Curnow and Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree discuss the many chapters of Nelson Mandela's life.
Golf legend Gary Player is one of South Africa's most celebrated sports figures. Back in 1966 he was also a staunch apartheid supporter. Times have changed, and so has Gary Player. He credits Nelson Mandela for changing his thinking.
News of Nelson Mandela's passing came around midnight local time in South Africa. That means many people there woke to the sad news today. Robyn Curnow is in Johannesburg and tells Anderson how the country is mourning Mandela's passing and celebrating his legacy.
Today Patrick Gaspard is the U.S. Ambassador to South Africa. But he tells Anderson about the first time he met Nelson Mandela during his visit to New York City in 1990. Gaspard also describes the mourning going on in South Africa right now.
An innocent man spent 18 years behind bars, and was scheduled for execution eight times. That was until a jury took another look at his case and acquitted him in just 35 minutes. Randi Kaye has his troubling story.
Anderson discusses all of this with former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin and criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos.
George Bizos was on the legal team that represented Nelson Mandela. The two first met as classmates in the late 1940's. Bizos tells Anderson about visiting Mandela in prison and his unexpected introduction with the prison guards.
Congressman Charles Rangel talks about how African-Americans in New York City were able to reconnect with their roots through Nelson Mandela.
Filmmaker Spike Lee cast Nelson Mandela as a school teacher in his film on Malcolm X. He explains why Mandela would not recite the famous line "by any means necessary." Lee also goes on to criticize America for the period of time when the U.S. government labeled the African National Conference a terrorist group.
David Turnley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who documented Nelson Mandela's fight to end apartheid. He talks to Anderson about the inspiration Mandela took from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and America's civil rights movement.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with