Mandela Is Free

Word Up Green Unit 3

This song includes sixth grade vocabulary words that students are likely to encounter on state tests. It teaches the following words: allegiance, chronological, context, diligent, emote, generate, majority, meager, negotiate, obstacle, possess, poverty, prejudice, prosecute and transform. This song tells the amazing, true story of Nelson Mandela, who never stopped fighting for the rights of his people.


In South Africa, in a remote town,
Far from the cities you know well,
Born in poverty, Mandela was poor,
No meat and sweets that they couldn’t afford.
Resources were meager, they didn’t have many,
But had a lot of love and a big family.
This story goes in order, it’s chronological,
The first to go to school, that’s hard to do.
He was a hard-working student, diligent with the books,
Some white people on the street, giving him looks.
Here’s the context, see the background now,
Colonial Dutch ruled South Africa.
The whole country at this time
Was divided along race lines, Apartheid.
So blacks were the majority, more than half,
But couldn’t vote, now that’s some bad math.
So Mandela was treated with prejudice,
People didn’t like him, even before they met him.
His loyalty, allegiance, was to freedom,
But his college kicked him out like, "we don’t need him."
This caused and generated a feeling in his soul,
When a dream is held back, it just might blow!
Their hatred was just an obstacle,
Something in his way, but it’s not impossible.

Mandela! Yes, Mandela is free, but what about my people? My people!

He set out to change and transform,
The whole country one mind at a time.
Joined the African National Congress,
ANC, what’s that? Y’all gonna have to wait and see.
At first he tried to talk and negotiate,
Deal with the government, start bargaining.
But his talks were met with silence,
So as a last resort he turned to violence.
But he was prosecuted and put on trial,
The judge said, "You’re going to go to jail for a while."
So they locked him up, and threw away the key,
In jail for twenty four years* in his cell.
But he possessed and had the spirit that
Was strong like his ancestors had.
And the people fought to end Apartheid,
And when Mandela was freed, yeah they went all wild.
You represent? Here’s what representing is,
When you get out of jail, you’re made President.
You represent? Here’s what representing is,
When you get out of jail, you’re made President like Mandela!

Mandela! Yes, Mandela is free, but what about my people? My people!

"Poverty is not natural. It is man-made. And it can be overcome and eradicated." - Nelson Mandela

*Note: Mandela served 24 years before being transferred to Victor Verster Prison, where he served an additional 3 years. He served a total of 27 years in prison.

In America, the civil rights movement of the 1960s helped end the policy of "separate but equal," a system that separated blacks and whites. But in South Africa, a racist system called Apartheid kept power in the hands of whites, even though there were many more black people than white people in the country. Apartheid didn't go away until very recently. It existed in the 1990s. Apartheid made it easy for whites to vote, own land and work wherever they wanted, but made it very hard for black people to own good land, work and vote. When a boy grew up and decided to fight this racist system, there were many people who wished he'd go away. His name is Nelson Mandela. His story is true, and it is one of the most moving stories ever told. Locked in a jail cell for 24 years, Mandela never stopped fighting for the rights of his people.

You'll learn these words: remote, poverty, meager, chronological, diligent, context, majority, prejudice, allegiance, generate, obstacle, transform, negotiate, prosecute, possess.

remote (adj)
far out of the way and distant
Stockholm is a major city, but the small Swedish farming village is remote .
Antonyms: nearby
poverty (noun)
the state of being poor
The poverty in the inner city was out of control, so the mayor was attempting to solve it with new programs and policies.
meager (adj)
not enough; inadequate
A meager harvest can mean that some farmers won't be able to pay their bills.
chronological (adj)
occurring or going in order of time
Mrs. Swanson had us do an activity in history class where we had to place a bunch of historical events in chronological order without the aid of our textbook.
Synonyms: consecutive
Antonyms: random
Other forms: When events are arranged in time, they form a chronology (noun).
diligent (adj)
hard-working or thorough
Amir was such a diligent worker that he was recognized as "Employee of the Month" for five months in a row.
Antonyms: lazy, negligent
context (noun)
the background or situation for something
Shawna always takes my comments out of context and therefore I look like a mean person.
majority (noun)
the greater part or number
A majority of the athletes had bruises on their bodies from the rough game the night before.
Antonyms: minority
prejudice (noun)
judging someone or something before you know much about them; a preconceived attitude
Mostly because of prejudice , the short person found it hard to get a job as a salesman.
Synonyms: intolerance, discrimination
allegiance (noun)
loyalty or devotion
When pledging allegiance to the flag, everyone should place their right hand across their chest.
generate (verb)
to produce or create
The factory generated a lot of pollution.
Antonyms: to destroy, demolish
obstacle (noun)
something that gets in your way; an obstruction
We encountered an obstacle in our path and could not bike over it.
Synonyms: barrier, hurdle
transform (verb)
to change
The caterpillar transformed into a beautiful butterfly.
Other forms: There was a huge transformation (noun) in Alex's behavior once he was released from juvenile hall.
negotiate (verb)
to bargain; to try to reach a deal
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton often has to negotiate with other nations.
Synonyms: to haggle
Other forms: The negotiator (noun) attempted to talk the man into releasing his hostages.
prosecute (verb)
to accuse or put on trial
The attorney was hoping to prosecute Kimball to the full extent of the law.
Antonyms: to defend
Other forms: The prosecution (noun) is the group of lawyers who argue that someone is guilty. It is also the act of prosecuting someone.
possess (verb)
to own, occupy or control
I possess some antique coins that are worth a lot of money.
Other forms: Something that you own is a possession (noun).
Mandela was not rich, but instead he was born into _____.
What does it mean when a story is "chronological"?
It goes in order.
Even though black people were the majority, what were they not allowed to do?
What was Mandela's allegiance to?
What was Mandela's obstacle?

Tests and answer keys are only available for paid subscribers.

Click below to sign up for a digital subscription.

Start your free trial.

Copyright ©2014 FlocabularyTerms|Privacy Policy|Credits