Nelson Mandela International Day comes one day after death of U.S. civil rights legend John Lewis

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      The world is celebrating the legacy of one great African leader while mourning the passing of another giant of African ancestry.

      Today is Nelson Mandela International Day 2020, as well as the South African icon's birthday. He would have been 102.

      It comes a day after the death of John Lewis, the legendary civil rights leader and long-time U.S. Congressman, at the age of 80.

      Mandela began fighting South Africa's racist apartheid system in the 1940s and continued into the 1950s and 1960s.

      In 1964, he was sent to jail, where he remained for 27 years. He later became the first Black president of South Africa, creating the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as a form of restorative justice.

      The UN General Assembly created Nelson Mandela International Day to encourage people around the world to become active citizens in their communities.

      There are several goals, including reducing hunger and malnutrition through the provision of nutritious meals.

      Another one of the cornerstones this year is education and literacy.

      According to a website created on Mandela Day, this includes achieving the goals of providing high-quality education for all children and offering then all early childhood development to have access to learning resources.

      Below, you can hear Mandela talk about the importance of education.

      There are also goals associated with shelter, sanitation, and active citizenship.

      Video: Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang explains how people can play a part to create a better world.

      "As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality persist in our world," Mandela said, "none of can truly rest."

      The Bhambayi Project has decided to celebrate Mandela by honouring each other. Check out its video below.

      The Bhambayi Project created this video to launch the Mandela Day Challenge 2020.

      John Lewis inspired millions

      In America, Lewis was an outspoken critic of apartheid and he visited South Africa several times.

      On C-Span in 2013, Lewis recalled being in Johannesburg before the 1994 election. And he said that the music and words he heard at protests in that country were so similar to what he heard in America in the 1960s.

      "I remember going and meeting Nelson Mandela," Lewis said. "He knew everything about me."

      Nelson Mandela and John Lewis both devoted their lives to working for racial equality.
      U.S. embassy in South Africa

      Lewis was the son of a sharecropper who represented Georgia' 5th district in Congress from 1987 until his death.

      In the 1960s, he chaired the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech.

      Two years later, Lewis suffered a broken skull after being beaten by a white policeman during a civil-rights march on a bridge in Selma, Alabama. Now, there's a growing movement on social media to rename the bridge after him.

      Lewis was also one of the 13 original Freedom Riders, six Black and seven white, who chose to travel together on public transportation from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans to oppose segregation. They were beaten, arrested, and jailed along the way.

      "I was left lying at the Greyhound bus station in Montgomery unconscious," Lewis told CNN on the 40th anniversary.

      Below, you can see how John Lewis's life is being celebrated on social media.