Tag Archives: Steve Biko

Biko lives but transformation suffers

As we commemorate the brutal and barbaric killing of Stephen Bantu Biko this time of the year we are once again forced to reflect on where we are as a country against the ideals that Biko died for. South Africa is also marking 20 years of political independence. It is fitting, indeed, to ask and…

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Don’t talk to me about race or blackness!

It was one of those easy and relaxed days over the weekend. I was in a group of family and friends enjoying drinks, snacks and good company. After all, we had been invited to hang out and just catch up. I was aware that this was an exclusive black group in a so-called former white-only…

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Times are changing…

It was at a girl’s varsity residence room the morning after we had sex that I read, for the first time, Steve Biko’s I write what I like. I was lying next to her, naked, and she had a handful of books on a bedside table. I read the first few essays, which left me…

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‘Whites don’t care about blacks’

By Lucille Dawkshas I’m the only white teacher in an all-black township school. Teaching the philosophy of Steve Biko has been quite interesting, given the context. I can relate to Athambile Masola’s “atmosphere of exclusion” in her article “A Biko moment”, where “there are no words or signs declaring the exclusion”. I’ve had several “Biko…

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A Biko moment

I’ve been having a Biko moment for a while now. A “Biko [1] moment” is that moment when someone says something racist but I’m left wondering if I’m reading too much into the situation. That moment when I have to debate in mind if I feel welcome in a space because there’s an atmosphere of…

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The private is political: Ramphele and the Biko affair

I tried to play devil’s advocate in a conversation where Mamphela Ramphele’s affair with Steve Biko came into question. I was stunned that in a group of black women Ramphele was not the hero or the role model of what it means to be an example of a woman to be reckoned with in the…

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Who is black and who is not?

There has not been a time in the history of racial identity in this country when the number of people who describe or define themselves in terms of their race or language group or tribe has been so low. Far too few people continue to see themselves as black (or white even) (8.8%) compared to…

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What does authentically African mean?

Over the last 20 years, self-appointed custodians of “authentic Africaness” have derogatively referred to fellow blacks as “coconuts”, that is, citizens with black skins but white souls or cultural tendencies. Perhaps instead of feeling indignant and insulted, it is important to provide a context for what is meant by this label. It may be long…

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Centre for Blackness

Exactly 100 years after Africans were dispossessed of their land and stripped of their identity and heritage, the ANC government has subsidised the opening of the new headquarters for blackness. This comes in the form of a legacy project worth more than R120 million to promote, protect and preserve the legacy of Black Consciousness visionary leader…

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If whiteness can’t be unlearned then black oppression is permanent

Many arguments have risen out of Gillian Schutte’s “Dear White People” perhaps the most progressive provided by Jackie Shandu in “Black people, fight your own battles”. Shandu argues that because Schutte’s letter is addressed to white people, it ought to be dismantled and dissected primarily by the white community who it seeks to engage in…

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