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The December 7 'MHP' Syllabus

A long look at the late Nelson Mandela's legacy, and efforts to make a "better country than this," as President Obama put it--Saturday on "MHP," 10am ET, msnbc.
Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, raise clenched fists as they walk hand-in-hand upon his release from prison in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb. 11, 1990.
Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, raise clenched fists as they walk hand-in-hand upon his release from prison in Cape Town, South Africa on Feb. 11, 1990.

To most he was Nelson Mandela; to others he was "Madiba" or "Tata"--and internationally, he was an inspirational icon of triumph over oppression.

Imprisoned for 27 years, Mandela emerged a deeply principled and philosophical man, ready to lead the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Though Mandela will be remembered as one of the most impactful leaders our world may ever see, his legacy is that of a real man who earned both accomplishments and criticisms.

On Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, our host and guests including Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman, National Urban League CEO Marc Morial, and Khalil Gibran Muhammad of the Schomburg Center will discuss the different facets of Mandela’s life from his controversial political strategies to his lasting global influence.

Though the November job numbers show unemployment dropping to a five-year low, rampant income inequality still threatens economic mobility in the U.S. In his speech on Wednesday, President Obama called the widening gap and its future implications the "defining issue of our time" and pledged to fight it during his next three years in office. As it stands, the richest 10% of Americans make almost half of the nation’s income. What is more, our current minimum wage--when adjusted for inflation--is less than the minimum wage under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The frustration amongst wage workers was made even more apparent this week when fast food workers in 100 cities walked out during Thursday’s lunch rush. Join us for a conversation on the president’s challenge to those in the GOP who oppose his plans to help American workers.

Despite Speaker John Boehner appointing ex-McCain chief of staff and immigration expert Rebecca Tallent as his new assistant, Republicans in the House of Representatives are still acting as if they can ignore immigration legislation into oblivion. However, a group of faith, immigration, and labor leaders are not going to let that happen.

Together, on November 12, they launched “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship.” The group’s leaders as well as immigrants from the community are fasting every day and night in order to push immigration reform forward. Host Melissa Harris-Perry and her panel will explore this new tactic in the continuing struggle for immigration policy reform, including speaking with Dream Defenders executive director Phillip Agnew about why he's fasting with the group.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.