Steve Biko, the South African anti-apartheid activist was the founding member of the South African Student Organization (SASO) which later evolved into the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM).
Biko stressed the need for Black South Africans to liberate themselves psychologically and to become self-reliant in order to fundamentally change South Africa.
1n 1977, he met an untimely death at the hands of the South African police at the young age of 30. Let’s celebrate his life and wisdom by reflecting on few of his most memorable and profound quotes.
Steve Biko Quotes
“It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die”
“Black is Beautiful.”
“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.”
“I’m going to be me as I am, and you can beat me or jail me or even kill me, but I’m not going to be what you want me to be.”
“The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
“A people without a positive history is like a vehicle without an engine.”
“So as a prelude whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realise that they are also human, not inferior. “
“Being black is not a matter of pigmentation – being black is a reflection of a mental attitude. ”
“A Black man should be more independent and depend on himself for his freedom and not to take it for granted that someone would lead him to it. The blacks are tired of standing at the touchlines to witness a game that they should be playing. They want to do things for themselves and all by themselves.”
“If you want to say something radical, you should dress conservative.”
“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. “
“In a bid for change, we have to take off our coats, be prepared to lose our comfort and security, our jobs and positions of prestige, and our families… A struggle without casualties is no struggle.”
“WOMEN must be at the forefront of nation-building to bring the South African citizenry together and, therefore, develop a whole new ethos of human co-existence.”