Helen Suzman

Born into white privilege in an increasingly racist society, Helen Suzman, who died Jan. 1 at 91, was a lifelong contrarian. She served in South Africa's Parliament from 1953 to 1989, fighting her government's repression of the country's black majority and the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela and his fellow antiapartheid fighters. From 1961 to 1974, it was a battle she fought alone as the Parliament's sole anti-apartheid member.

To the fury of other activists, however, Suzman opposed economic sanctions, arguing that they hurt blacks more than whites. And while she earned the admiration and friendship of Mandela, she did not flinch...

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