Dear Albert, congratulations on your sixth birthday. May you grow up to be a soldier in the fight for liberation. At that tender age, Albie Sachs future as freedom fighter had already been willed in a birthday postcard from his father.
Sachs has met and exceeded his father’s expectations. He has been a freedom fighter, advocate, author and Constitutional Court Judge. Albie Sachs’ lifelong commitment to justice, freedom and equality is firmly rooted to his parents’ political activism as Communist Party members and trade unionists.
Despite their separation in his childhood, their steadfast resolve to work towards a liberated, just state left an indelible mark on Sachs. In his later years, Sachs recalls growing up in a home that blurred the divisive lines of race, class and creed and nurtured the ideals of respect, unity and dignity for all.
“In the world I grew up in, there was an energy, and a brightness, and a vitality, and the people had that as well. There was a lot of laughter, and wit, and storytelling, and interaction and people with very different backgrounds coming together.
“It was there right from the beginning. The sense that if the world, the society in which we grew up didn’t acknowledge that ordinary respect, there was something wrong with society, that it had to change,”