Steve Biko, 31 years on
As we all know the leader of the black consciousness movement died on his cell this very day thirty one years ago. It is regarded by many as being the single most important event in the struggle against apartheid as it put pressure on the regime in place onto the global platform.
Though originally regarded as hostile but Nelson Mandela’s ANC right up until the 90s, his status in South African politics has never been called to question.
We are not going to go through his biography which can be found here. However the relevance of black consciousness beyond just the movement is even more imperative now. We live in a time and space where the knowledge of self has been lost somewhere and we no longer are allowed the identity that is the reason we should be who we are.
Steve Bantu Biko was once quoted by the Boston Globe as having said that as a prelude, whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior and that blacks must be made to realise that they are only human not inferior.
This consciousness needs to permeate the core of humanity and become the fulcrum of all thought. We are all human and none exists above another.
Quite rightly said that it meant that life needed to be pumped back into the empty shell of the black man who had his identity diluted by years of colonialism as well as strongly entrenched western reasoning. Now that is not to say that all things west are bad but that an African child should be born into a world that understands so little about its relevance is dangerous as it creates a generation lost to itself. It is not good enough to be western and has no place to go to after that. It’s a bit of a farce really cause then you here peddlers of the global village suddenly saying that it doesnt really matter.
But it does. The reason why left-wing movements are now the rage of many capitals is because of the whole globalisation move. Humans are losing their humanity and can no longer celebrate their diversity. And this goes beyond being black. We are losing the colour that makes this world come together.
Much of this stands in the face of evil forces that seek to stop it. A lot exists in a world where it is battered and bruised. But with enough exertion the good always wins the day.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. – The Definition of Black Consciousness, I Write What I Like, 1978.