Wednesday, November 16, 2005

SASO and The Black Consciousness Movement

1968 marked the year that Stephen Biko would break off from the NUSAS (National Union of South African Students) to form SASO (South African Students’ Organization). At the age of 22 Stephen Biko seemed to be ordained by God to undertake the task of liberation for South Africa against Apartheid. Perhaps his inspiration and drive came from the likes of Nelson Mandela or Robert Sobukwe who were both already jailed for their participation in the fight for Freedom. Nevertheless, Steve Biko, the President of SASO, launched a polemical campaign to expose the injustices against Blacks in South Africa. He started a monthly newsletter with the organization and wrote a column titled, I Write What I Like. He operated under the nom de guerre, “Frank Talk.”
The writings of Frank Talk were published in the SASO newsletter between 1969-1972. This would ignite the beginning of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa. Stephen was later silenced in 1973 and forbidden to write or speak in an opened forum. However, the movement had already gained momentum among the people in the townships and squatter camps (especially the students). The Black Conscious movement was not only designed to expose the injustices of Apartheid, but to also kindle and make conscious a beaten and troubled people under an evil and oppressive regime. Stephen Biko would become its most electrifying and devoted soldier.

"The philosophy of Black Consciousness therefore expresses group pride and the determination of the black to rise and attain the envisaged self. Freedom is the abliltiy to define oneself with one's possibilities held back not by the powre of other people over one but only by one's relationship to God and to natural surroundings." (Stephen Biko, I Write What I Like)
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