by Nick Kafejelis
Steve Biko's Life
Steve Biko was born on December 18, 1946 in the East Cape province. While attending school, Biko was expelled due to his vivacious political activism for black rights. However he enrolled into St. Francis College later on and eventually graduating 1966 with the National Union of South African Students organization. Later in 1968, Biko helped found the South African Student's Organization (SASO), yet another black anti-apartheid group which was at the forefront of the Black Conscious Movement (BCM) at the time. Biko operated this group out of the University of Natal, however he was again expelled for his black nationalistic activism in 1972. That same year, Biko created the Black People's Convention to fight apartheid. By 1973, Biko had been condemned by the apartheid government as a political radical and was forbidden from speaking or writing publicly causing his organizations to come to a halt as their leader had been politically silenced. This did not deter Biko, he managed his organizations from the underground and established another organization, the Zimele Trust Fund, to help prisoner and families of prisoners under the apartheid regime. In 1977, Steve Biko was imprisoned and severely beaten by police in custody. He died on September 12, 1977.
Impact and Legacy
Steve Biko's accomplishments are not taken lightly. Due to his aggressive and passionate attitude, he was able to organize the young people of South Africa into a formidable protesting force through unity. His courage inspired young people all around leading to further protest. However his most significant act would have to be his death. The violence that was committed to Biko in police custody and the eventual death led to national outcry in South Africa and international blame of the apartheid government for horrific treatment of political prisoners. At this moment, the world was now watching South Africa and every move by the apartheid regime would be analyzed and questioned. Biko became a symbol of hope and courage for the movements in the nation to come.
Steve Biko - rare TV interview
Rogers, Mark, and Peter Clinton. "Rights and Protest." Rights and Protest. Oxford. Print.