The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism

Living Edition
| Editors: Immanuel Ness, Zak Cope

Biko, Steve (1946–1977)

  • Hesham ZakaiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-91206-6_295-1

Definition

Steve Biko was born on 18 December 1946 in King William’s Town, South Africa. A prodigiously talented thinker and speaker, his life is a symbol of the sacrifices made when national liberation movements are confronted by the forces of history that seek to repress and subjugate them.

They had to kill him to prolong the life of apartheid.

(Nelson Mandela quoted in Somerville 2002)

It is both sad and timely to reflect that many of the leaders on whose vision and bravery anti-colonial movements are built do not live to see the fulfilment of their struggle. Stephen Bantu Biko is one of those leaders. A prodigiously talented thinker and speaker, his life is a symbol of the sacrifices made when national liberation movements are confronted by the forces of history that seek to repress and subjugate them. But if his life is a symbol for sacrifice, then so too is it a symbol for the liberatory maxim articulated by Burkina Faso’s late revolutionary president Thomas Sankara: ‘While...

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References

  1. Biko, S. (1987). Our strategy for liberation. In A. Stubbs (Ed.), I write what I like: Steve Biko. A selection of his writings. Oxford: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  2. Garvey, M. (1990). 1 October Speech by Marcus Garvey. In R. A. Hill (Ed.), The Marcus Garvey and universal negro improvement association papers, volume III November 1927–august 1940. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Kasuka, B. (2013). Prominent African leaders since independence. Dar Es Salaam: New Africa Press.Google Scholar
  4. Mangcu, X. (2014). Biko: A life. London: I.B. Tauris & Ltd.Google Scholar
  5. Somerville, K. (2002). Row Clouds Biko Anniversary, BBC News Online, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2253092.stm. Accessed 15 Jan 2014.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK