Oprah Winfrey's 2000 Interview With Nelson Mandela

A look back at the inspiring words of South Africa's first black president.
3:00 | 12/06/13

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Transcript for Oprah Winfrey's 2000 Interview With Nelson Mandela
Oprah winfrey joining in all of the tributes to nelson mandela. He was everything you've ever heard and more. Humble and unscathed by bitterness. Being in his fenpresence was like sitting in grace and majesty. She brought that present, an interview here on "the oprah winfrey show." Take a look. How does a man spend 27 years in prison, put there by an oppress oppressor, and come out of that experience, with not a heart of stone. Not a cold heart. But a heart that is willing to forgive and embrace? If I had not been to prison, I would not have been able to achieve the most difficult of tasks in life. And that is changing yourself. The opportunity to sit down and pick, I was in the company of great men in there. Some of them, more qualified, more talented than I am. And to sit down with them, to have changed views, was one of the most revealing experiences i have had. How did you get the racist guards to treat you with respect? You're in prison. And you said, I will only respond to the name mandela or mr. Mandela. You must fight the battle for dignity. On the very first day you go there. Really? That's what we did. We put our foot down and insisted, in being respected, even though we're prisoners. How is there no bitterness? Well, I hated oppression. And when I think about the things they did, I feel angry. The white minority is an animal. We must never talk with them. But our brains said, if you don't talk to this man, your country will go up in flames. And for many years to come, this country would be engulfed in rivers of blood. So, we had to reconcile that conflict. And I went talking to the enemy, was the result of the domination of the brave of our emotions. This has not happened before or since. That as he was leaving the building, every one of the harpo staff, the 300 people in the building, lined the hallway to shake his hand. Now call it the nelson mandela hallway here at harpo. Tells a great story about that appearance. In nelson mandela was waiting backstage and asked the producer. So, what's the show about? He was humble and funny. And oprah talked about his sense of humor a lot.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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