Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Young Steve Biko

Stephen Bantu Biko was born on December 18, 1946 in the Kingwilliamstown, Cape Province of South Africa. He was born the third child and second son of Mr. and Mrs. Mzimgayi Biko. Unfortunately, Stephen would never come to know his father who died when Stephen was only 4 years old. Stephen’s mother was a maid, but she made certain that the young Stephen would receive an education. Education was not free at that time for Black children. Parents had to pay monthly fees to send their children to school. This was often a difficult task for the overwhelmingly poor conditions that existed among many native South Africans. Families often resorted to selling chickens and other livestock just to ensure an education for their children. Stephen received his primary and secondary education in the Kingwilliamstown region before moving on to the Lovedale Institution in Alice. It was at Lovedale that Stephen received a “Bantu” Education. Essentially, a Bantu Education teaches the native how to serve the ruling minority. It was not designed to prepare students for higher education, but to keep them in their place. His formative education was received at the Roman Catholic Mariannhill, in Natal.

10 comments:

Unconquerable Soul said...

Unfortunately, Stephen's story is the stories of many oppress people throughout the world. Although, this had happen in South Africa 1946, it happens in the South Bronx 2005. Complacency!

Stephen Bess said...

Yes, TUS!
This culture that we live in with the help of the media makes it very comfortable to be satisfied with the status quo. Steve Biko once said, "You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can't care anyway."

Anonymous said...

Stephen, thank you for inviting us to this intimate table :)
It is funny how certain phrases surfaces when we have to talk about ourselves, and our history as a people...Anger, complacency, bitterness, laziness, excuses..etc Aren't we the same people who inspite of crude disposession, have taught ourselves how to read and write?? Aren't we the same people who sold everything we possess just to pay for our children's education?? Biko is one of the many people who would not "Submit" to the words and even actions that stereotypes us as anything but an Image of God!!


Uncoquerable soul: Do not refrain your mouth for fear of being labeled complacent :) How will we teach our children about USA's Jim Crowe, and Hendrik Verwoerd(South African president, Bantu Education was adopted during his reign of terror...he was later assasinated by Tsafendas in 1948 if I am not mistaken)if we think being real, and sharing our experiences, and thoughts about the American Dream is complacent??

Stephen Bess said...

You are welcome anonymous. It seems that you have a good grasp on the history. It is truly a shame that there are parents and children in this world that do not value education that way. This is why I am devoting this week to discussing Biko. I think that his message could help us all as we quickly approach a new year.

Rose said...

reading Stephen's story sounded so familiar and so today.

Stephen Bess said...

Rose-
Thank you for stopping in. Yes, his is a story worth telling.

Bougie Black Boy said...

I think he's the originator of the bougie movement. :)

Stephen Bess said...

Stephen-
If the "bougie" movement could install pride, identity and dignity to the disenfranchised masses then...yes. :)

Tryphina said...

Stephen Early Jordan; The Black Conscious Movement had a level of disdain for what they termed "Banquet Table" mentality. The movement believe black elites are hoping for a favour with a place at the white table. Stephen Biko, was allergic to petty bourgeouriesm. His assertions are so true in our society today, this is what I believe he would say to us all over again "Their protests are directed at and appeal to white concience. Everything they do is directed at finally convincing the white electorate that the black man is also a man and that at some future date he should be given a place at the white man's table" Stephen Bantu Biko
Tragically most of us have been in this "Banquet Table" mentality so deep, for so long we don't even know the difference anymore!!!

JenellyBean said...

*raises hand*
I have a question

How are we still experiencing this today?

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