Stephen Bantu Biko the anti-apartheid activist and leader of the black consciousness movement in South Africa, is born in 1946 in Ginsberg Township, in the present-day Eastern Cape province. To remember the best-known martyr of the struggle against apartheid, Google published a doodle, celebrating Biko’s remarkable legacy.
Google wrote a commemorative statement applauding Biko’s immense contribution to the struggle for equality.
Black is beautiful. Steve Biko knew this fully well, and fought to spread this message across South Africa at the height of the apartheid movement in the 1960s and 1970s.
While in medical school, Biko co-founded the Black Consciousness Movement, which rejected apartheid policies and encouraged black people to take pride in their racial identities and cultural heritages. Biko famously said, “Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time.”
In February of 1973, the pro-apartheid government banned Biko for anti-apartheid activism. Under this ban, Biko wasn’t allowed to speak to more than one person at a time, was forbidden to speak in public and to the media, and was forced to stay in a single district. In spite of this, Biko continued to form grassroots organizations and organize protests, including the Soweto Uprising in June of 1976.
On the 70th anniversary of Biko’s birth, we remember his courage and the important legacy he left behind. Thank you, Steve Biko, for dedicating your life to the pursuit of equality for all.
Biko’s arrest, and death
Biko was also the leader of the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO). He was arrested and detained several times before for his anti-apartheid stance, and his arrest on the 17th of August 1977, and detention was his last brush with the apartheid regime. He was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No. 83 of 1967 in King William’s Town.
Biko died from injuries sustained during his detention, becoming the best-known martyr of the struggle against apartheid.
During his lifetime, Biko dedicated his life to fighting racial inequality and the Apartheid regime’s racial segregation policies.
Biko inspired South Africa and the rest of the world with his fearlessness, great leadership, fighting for the improvement of the rights of black citizens.
He passed away at the age of 30. We celebrate Biko’s life and legacy.