Steve Biko

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Stephen Biko
Stephen Bantu Biko

(1946-12-18)18 December 1946
Died12 September 1977(1977-09-12) (aged 30)
SpouseNtsiki Mashalaba
ChildrenNkosinathi Biko, Samora Biko, Lerato Biko, Motlatsi Biko and Hlumelo Biko

Stephen Bantu Biko (18 December 1946 – 12 September 1977)[1] was a South African activist. He is famous for his activism against apartheid in South Africa during the 1960s and 1970s.[2] He created the Black Consciousness Movement.[3]

Life[change | change source]

Biko was born in Ginsberg Township (now called the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa). He started high school at Lovedale High School. However, he was kicked out of school because of his political ideas about South Africa. He finished high school at St. Francis College.

During the late 1960s, Biko was a medical student at the University of Natal. During this time, he helped create the South African Students' Organisation. The organization later changed into the Black Consciousness Movement, and elected Biko as its first president in 1968.[4]

As a student, during the early 1970s, Biko fought against apartheid in many ways. Eventually, in 1972, he was kicked out of the University of Natal. In February 1973, the South African apartheid government banned Biko. This severely limited his freedom of speech.

Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement played key roles in organizing protests, led by South African high school students, that resulted in the Soweto Uprising.

Death[change | change source]

Steven Bantu Biko's Grave in King Williams Town, South Africa

On 18 August 1977, Biko was arrested. He died on 12 September 1977 due to injuries he got while in police custody.

Cultural references[change | change source]

In the movie Cry Freedom (1987), which was about Biko's role in the anti-apartheid struggle and about his death while in police custody, Biko was played by American actor Denzel Washington.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Stephen Bantu Biko". South African history on-line. September 2007. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  2. Samuel A. Paul (1 January 2009). The Ubuntu God: Deconstructing a South African Narrative of Oppression. Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 47–. ISBN 978-1-63087-820-7.
  3. "Black Consciousness movement". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  4. "Steve Biko: Biography". Bio. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved May 29, 2016.

Other websites[change | change source]