Biko, Steve

Biko, Steve (Steven Biko) bēˈkō [key], 1946–77, South African political leader. A medical student, he founded (1969) a black student organization and developed a national “Black Consciousness” movement to combat racism and apartheid policies. Arrested in 1977, he died in police custody, prompting international protests and a UN arms embargo. In 1997 five former policemen admitted killing him. Biko's life and legacy motivated many black South Africans to resist the apartheid regime. He saw Black Consciousness as a political and philosophical tool that could "restore people to their full humanity." Biko was formative in the history and transformation of South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century.

See C. Van Wyk, ed. We Write What We Like: Celebrating Steve Biko (2007); A. Mngxitama et al., ed. Biko Lives!: Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko (2008); L. Wilson, Steve Biko (2015); L. A. Hadfield, Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa (2016); T. Sithole, Steve Biko: Decolonial Meditations of Black Consciousness (2016); H. K. Tafira, Black Nationalist Thought in South Africa: The Persistence of an Idea of Liberation (2016).

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