Steve Biko Mobilized Mass Resistance to South Africa's Racist Apartheid Regime

Stephen Bantu Biko, 30

(Dec. 18, 1946 – Sept. 12, 1977)

So as a prelude whites must be made to realize that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realize that they are also human, not inferior.

Steve Biko, regarded as an icon in the anti-apartheid movement, founded several organizations in an effort to mobilize Black people against the racist apartheid regime in South Africa. Biko co-founded the South African Students’ Organization in 1968, an all-Black student organization focusing on the resistance of apartheid. He later founded the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), which would empower and mobilize much of the urban Black population, and co-founded the Black People’s Convention in 1972.

The BCM gained the most ground as it not only called for resistance to the policy of apartheid and more rights for South African Blacks, but also helped to instill Black pride among Black people in the country.

Biko was arrested many times for his anti-apartheid activism. On Sept. 12, 1977, Biko died in police custody from injuries he sustained from the arresting officers. In 1997, five officers confessed to killing Biko after reportedly filling an application for amnesty to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The basic tenet of black consciousness is that the black man must reject all value systems that seek to make him a foreigner in the country of his birth and reduce his basic human dignity.