09 February 2022


09 February 2022


Born on December 18, 1946 in South Africa, Steve Biko is one of the most emblematic activist figures in the anti-Apartheid struggle.

In 1969, he founded the South African Students Organisation (SASO) with several other students in response to apartheid through political actions.

In 1976, he was the leader of the Black Consciousness movement, which fought for the emancipation of black people by themselves, advocating self-confidence and self-determination. Within this movement, he adopted the Black Panther Party’s slogan “Black is beautiful “. He was a supporter of Martin Luther King’s pacifist theory and was influenced by the great minds of black emancipation, including W.E.B Dubois, Marcus Garvey and the father of negritude, Aimé Césaire.

In 1973, Biko and other members of Black Consciousness were officially detained for terrorism while schools were being politicized by members of his organization and boycott attempts were increasing.

In 1976, popular revolts hit the townships (poor and under-equipped areas of South Africa, restricted to non-whites) leading to what will be called the “Soweto Massacre”.

He was jailed on August 18, 1977 in Port Elizabeth where he was tortured and then moved to Pretoria. He died in detention on September 12, 1977, following a hunger strike, according to official reports. His controversial death caused outrage in the international community and led to sanctions against the South African regime.

Biko will become the symbol of the black resistance against apartheid and the powers that be.

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