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Sun, 19 Dec 2021 19:08:34 +0100
wrote the following
Sun, 19 Dec 2021 18:19:12 +0100
Today would be the 75th birthday of Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement and martyr of South Africa's anti-apartheid struggle:
"The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."
By way of a small tribute to Steve (Stephen Bantu) Biko, here is a brief descriptive introduction to and characterization of Biko as a thoughtful and politically aware young medical student at Wentworth (the Natal University nonwhite medical school), where he was elected to the Students’ Representative Council and soon participated in NUSAS (the multiracial National Union of South African Students):
“Undogmatic but highly disciplined in his thinking, possessed with a rare insight into human and political situations, Biko increasingly began to question the value of what he saw as the artificial integration of student politics. As in South African politics generally, Africans were hanging back, resentful but reticent, hiding behind white spokesmen who had shouldered the job of defining black grievances and goals. For liberal whites, verbal protest and symbolic racial mixing were seen as the outer limit of action. Apartheid was defined as the enemy, and nonracialism prescribed as the antidote. Repeated over and over in words and symbols, this liberal approach, and in fact the entire liberal analysis, had to Biko’s way of thinking become not an inspiration to constructive action but a sterile dogma disguising an unconscious attachment to the status quo.”— Gail M. Gerhart, Black Power in South Africa: The Evolution of an Ideology (University of California Press, 1978): 260. Gerhart had the privilege of interviewing Biko in 1972.
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