Posted by: Dr. Y. | September 25, 2014

The Return of Steve Biko and Quotes

Steve Biko

Steve Biko

I would like to share with you some quotes by Steve Biko himself.  When I read Biko’s words, I realize that he was a true African leader who wanted good for all; he was really ahead of his time.  I have also added, at the end, a documentary The Return of Biko‘ by Jeff Ogola. Enjoy!

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The greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Speech in Cape Town, 1971

It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die.

“At the time of his death, Biko had a wife and three children for which he left a letter that stated in one part: “I’ve devoted my life to see equality for blacks, and at the same time, I’ve denied the needs of my family. Please understand that I take these actions, not out of selfishness or arrogance, but to preserve a South Africa worth living in for blacks and whites.”

“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.” From Steve Biko’s evidence given at the SASO/BPC trial, 3 May 1976

“In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift – a more human face.

'I Write What I Like' by Steve Biko

‘I Write What I Like’ by Steve Biko

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.

Black man, you are on your own.”  Slogan coined by Steve Biko for the South African Student’s Organization, SASO. 

We do not want to be reminded that it is we, the indigenous people, who are poor and exploited in the land of our birth. These are concepts which the Black Consciousness approach wishes to eradicate from the black man’s mind before our society is driven to chaos by irresponsible people from Coca-cola and hamburger cultural backgrounds.”  The Quest for a True Humanity, I Write What I Like, 1978.

 

“It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realize that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality. The first step therefore is to make the black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth.  We Blacks, I Write What I Like, 1978.
Black Consciouness Movement flag

Black Consciouness Movement flag

You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can’t care anyway.”  On Death, I Write What I Like, 1978

Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time. Its essence is the realization by the black man of the need to rally together with his brothers around the cause of their oppression – the blackness of their skin – and to operate as a group to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual servitude.  The Quest for a True Humanity, I Write What I Like, 1978.

There are also several articles on this African martyr: articles by South African History, The Independent, Time, and Black Agenda Report.  Enjoy!!!


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