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Happy Birthday Steve Biko

By BO Staff Writer

Today,the father of the Black Consiousness (BC) movement in South Africa, Steve Biko, would have been 70 years old had he not been murdered. We republish this statement released by the BC movement, Black First Land First (BLF), last year.

On this 69th anniversary of Steve Biko’s birth BLF finds it necessary to reflect on his conception of black liberation. Biko framed the fundamental contradiction in South Africa as one of white racism based on his conception of capitalism as being inherently racist. In this regard Biko says:

“…the colour question in South African politics was originally introduced for economic reasons. The leaders of the white community had to create some kind of barrier between blacks and whites so that the whites could enjoy privileges at the expense of blacks and still feel free to give a moral justification for the obvious exploitation that pricked even the hardest of white consciences.”

White racism, which is based on the historical dispossession and oppression of blacks, assumes a position of relative self governance by virtue of which whiteness is normalized. Hence the inferiority of blacks and the superiority of whites are naturally established. Biko’s conception of black liberation is based on the complete eradication of white racism and upon its ashes to construct a fully responsive black socialist society. Here is Biko again in his own words:

“…the poor shall always be black people. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the blacks should wish to rid themselves of a system that locks up the wealth of the country in the hands of a few, No doubt Rick Turner was thinking about this when he declared that “any black government is likely to be socialist…””

BLF invites all to celebrate the birth and life of our revolutionary leader by honoring his legacy. As a tribute to Biko’s life we re-issue an interview by Andile Mngxitama, National Convener of BLF, where he aptly delivers Biko’s conception of liberation.

Happy Birthday Comrade Biko!

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