University of Pittsburgh
December 5, 2013

Pitt Expert Available to Comment on Legacy of Nelson Mandela


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

High resolution image(s) available >

PITTSBURGH—A University of Pittsburgh expert is available to comment on the passing of anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela, whose death was announced this afternoon. 

Mandela addressed a group in Pittsburgh on Dec. 6, 1991, at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum for the H. J. Heinz Company Foundation Distinguished Lecture. The event was hosted by the H. J. Heinz Company Foundation Fellowship Program, administered through Pitt’s University Center for International Studies.

Brenda Berrian, professor of Africana Studies, who met Mr. Mandela at the 1991 event, also worked in South Africa during Mandela’s presidency, taught at his alma mater, the University of Fort Hare in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, and is familiar with South Africa and its people. 

“For the majority of South Africans, Nelson Mandela is more than a former president,” said Berrian. “He is a beloved father figure who represents the struggle for freedom.”

Berrian can discuss her experiences in South Africa, how she and others were inspired by Mandela, and what his legacy will be. She can be reached at 412-361-2832 (cell) or at 

Scroll down to download a photo of Mandela during his visit to Pitt.