Straight And Blunt! These Are The Words Of Steve Biko


Steve Biko was a student-teacher turned anti-apartheid activist in South Africa. He is one of the most influential leaders in African history. Stephen Bantu Biko was born on December 18, 1946.

He died in confinement on September 12, 1977 at the age of 30.

He founded the Black Consciousness Movement which was aimed to empower and mobilize black South African Natives. He also co-founded South African Students Organization (SASO); serving as its first president.

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As an academic personality, Steve Biko dedicated his writings to the empowerment of the oppressed people of South Africa. He popularized the slogan, “Black is Beautiful”.

Stephen Biko grew up in the present day Eastern Cape. His father was a government clerk, while his mum was a domestic worker for a white family.

This foundation coupled with education might have triggered the burning desire to see his people free from racial oppression. His courage in the fight for freedom threatened the white government. Amongst several other attacks, he was arrested  and detained in Pretoria Central Prison.

He was married to Ntsiki Mashalaba. Together they had 5 children.

These are some of Steve Biko’s intelligent quotes: 

1. The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

2. What Black Consciousness seeks to do is to produce real black people who do not regard themselves as appendages to white society.

3. You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can’t care anyway.

4. Black man, you are on your own.

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

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6. 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.

7. Instead of involving themselves in an all-out attempt to stamp out racism from their white society, liberals waste a lot of time trying to prove to as many blacks as they can find that they are liberal.

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

9. 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.

10. The black man has become a shell, a shadow of man, completely defeated, drowning in his own misery, a slave, an ox bearing the yoke of oppression with sheepish timidity