Victory to the People of Southern Africa: Steve Biko Did Not Die In Vain!


This poster commemorates the life and martyrdom in police custody of Bantu Stephen Biko (1946-1977). Biko, born in the Eastern Cape following the end of World War Two, founder and principal theoretician of the Black Consciousness Movement, sought to find an intermediate path that would bridge the gaps between the rival liberation movements the ANC and PAC while also integrating insights gleaned from the diasporic North American Civil Rights and Black Power Movements from the 1950's, sixties and seventies. Since both PAC and ANC were banned and therefore forced to operate clandestinely, with internal and external political and military wings, Biko intended for his BCM to fill what he perceived as a local vacuum. A widely traveled and highly respected leader, Biko was murdered while detained by the South African police in October 1977. The photograph was taken during his funeral. His legacy survives in books published posthumously, "Biko" by Donald Woods (later the motion picture "Cry Freedom" starring Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline, "I Write What I like" (edited by Aelred Stubbs) and "Steve Biko: Black Consciousness in South Africa," (Millard Arnold, editor) as well as famous song written and performed by Peter Gabriel and the 1987 Filmmaker's Library documentary "Biko: Breaking the Silence." Most importantly, his memory lives on in the work of people who remain dedicated to constructing a non-racialist, democratic New South Africa. His KingWilliamsTown house is now a museum.

The following sources about Biko are to be found in McHenry Library:

    Biko, Steve, 1946-1977.
    An interview with Steven Biko. Los Angeles, Calif. : Pacifica Radio Archive, 1986. 1 sound cassette (24 min.) : 1 7/8 ips.
    (Synopsis: The South African civil rights activist discusses the history of the Black Consciousness Movement, its relations with other Black nationalist groups and with whites working for change, as well as his hopes for a peaceful transition to a non-segregated society in South Africa.)
    UCSC McHenry LS8898 Film & Music
  • Bounds of possibility : the legacy of Steve Biko & Black consciousness / edited by N. Barney Pityana ... [et al.]. Cape Town : D. Philip ; London ; Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey : Zed Books, 1991.
    UCSC McHenry DT779.8.B48B68 1991
  • Juckes, Tim J.
    Opposition in South Africa : the leadership of Z.K. Matthews, Nelson
    Mandela, and Stephen Biko
    / Tim J. Juckes. Westport, Conn. : Praeger,
    UCSC McHenry DT1938 .J83 1995
  • Woods, Donald, 1933-
    Biko / Donald Woods. New York : Paddington Press, c1978.
    UCSC McHenry DT779.8.B48W66
  • Biko, Steve, 1946-1977.
    Steve Biko : Black consciousness in South Africa / Millard Arnold, ed. 1st ed. New York : Random House, c1978.
    (Synopsis: A documentary by one of South Africa's pioneering Black film makers on the the life and times of Nelson Mandela and his role in the struggle against apartheid. )
    UCSC McHenry KTL41.C66B55 1978