What role did Steve Biko and Black Conciousness play in bringing about a change in South Africa in the 1970’s?
For nearly 10 years in South Africa , after the banning of political organisations and the Rivonia Trial in the early 60’s ,there was political calm and no visible organised political activity among Africans. In the same decade South Africa’s economy prospered and for whites life was good. For blacks however their misery continued. All in all the black man became a shell, a shadow of a man , completely defeated ,drowning in his own misery , a slave of oppression of the South African institutionalised machinery that was Apartheid. It was this vacuum that the idea of Black Consciousness began to fill by the end of the 1960’s , led by a man called Steve Biko. The idea of BCM in South Africa developed out of the university student organisation NUSAS of which Steve Biko and other blacks joined to express their political views.However Steve Biko argued that NUSAS was an organisation dominated by white liberals who did nothing to to uplift the black delegates of NUSAS.He believed that whites could not be tasked to genuinely fight for black liberation ,hence together with Indian and Coloured students embarked on forming their own organisation called SASO in 1969.From this venture came the Black Consciousness Movement led by Steve Biko and company, namely Barney Pityana. BC believed that Apartheid and Colonialism could be overcome by the philosophy of self reliance and especially Black Pride so that the true value of being black and determining ones own destiny could be restored.BC believed that the liberation for blacks would only be restored and more importantly attained if they remove the shackles of inferiority and fear that blacks had become accustomed to in the silent sixties. Hence blacks had to operate in separate organisations with strict black leadership. According to BCM ideology , black people needed to develop a positive awareness or identity...
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