Biko – Epilogue

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Merely by describing yourself as black you have started on a road towards emancipation, you have committed yourself to fight against all forces that seek to use your blackness as a stamp that marks you out as a subservient being.
-Steve Biko

Upon returning to Denver I pulled up google search to for a Christmas gift. Much to my surprise Google was honoring Steve Biko. During my stay at the Backpack Hostel in Cape Town I had the honor of staying in the Steve Biko suite. However, while in Cape Town I did not dedicate time to discovering the significance of Steve Biko. Upon seeing that Google had honored him I had no choice but to research him and his legacy.

In the 60’s Steve Biko founded the Black Consciousness Movement. This movement was similar to the Black Power revolution in America. Biko felt that blacks in South Africa had to change their perception about being weak and powerless and instead have confidence and take pride in themselves. This change in thinking would help empower blacks and create a more unified and dignified people who were able to fight oppression with a different mentality. Much like the American Black Panthers, Biko felt as though whites should not help in the empowerment and liberation efforts on behalf of blacks. Blacks needed to help one another and grow as a unified group to liberate themselves.

Much like the Black Panther Fred Hampton, Biko was killed at the hands of local police in 1977. Though the BCM had not fully achieved liberation for black people they had at least freed many black minds from the mental shackles of oppression. Hearing this story lets me know that just because my trip to South Africa has concluded, my research on Apartheid in South Africa has only just begun. I love learning about leaders who step up and sacrifice their lives for the empowerment and liberation of others.

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