“No true liberal should feel any resentment at the growth of black consciousness. Rather, all true liberals should realize that the place for their fight for justice is within their white society. The liberals must realize that they themselves are oppressed if they are true liberals and therefore they must fight for their own freedom and not that of the nebulous ‘they’ with whom they can hardly claim identification.”
I just recently finished reading an awe-inspiring book entitled I Write What I Like by Steve Biko.
Biko has been labeled as the founder of Black Consciousness, and after reading his work, that title is well-deserved. I Write What I Like is a culmination of Biko’s writings between 1969 and 1972. After being elected president of the South African Students’ Organization (SASO), Biko along with his colleagues played a pivotal role in combating the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS); which eventually led to a ray of organizations that pushed a black political agenda to fight against Apartheid. His activism became so problematic that in 1973, Biko was banned from publishing or speaking publicly, among other restrictions. And his writings left a mark that is still relative today.
What I found the most interesting about this book was that the social status of Black South Africans during that time was almost identical to the current state of Black Americans here in the United States. The establishment here is so anti-Black Nationalism, somewhat like South Africa, that our history is always hidden, propaganda is pushed to keep us docile, and political ignorance is glorified in order for the powers to reframe from redistributing stolen resources. Biko’s analysis on liberalism helped me seal my stance on voting independent, at lease until further notice. My community has supported and subscribed to the Democratic Party for too long, and have received nothing but empty promises, church visits, and Essence Magazine covers. So I would like to encourage us, specifically, to take a look at some of Steve Biko’s writings by purchasing the book.
Until Next Time…