"...When I try to sleep at night
I can only dream in red
The outside world is black and white
With only one colour dead
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko...

You can blow out a candle
But you can't blow out a fire
Once the flames begin to catch
The wind will blow it higher
Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko..."

~ Peter Gabriel - Biko Peter Gabriel 1980

 

"By Black Consciousness I mean the cultural and political revival of an oppressed people. This must be related to the emancipation of the entire continent of Africa since the Second World War. Africa has experienced the death of white invincibility. Before that we were conscious mainly of two classes of people, the white conquerors and the black conquered. The black in Africa now know that the whites will not be conquerors forever..."

"...We know that all interracial groups in South Africa are relationships in which whites are superior, blacks inferior. So, as a prelude, whites must be made to realize that they are only human, not superior. Same with blacks. They must be made to realize that they are also human, not inferior. For all of us this means that South Africa is not European, but African..."

"...The society as a whole was divided into white and black groups. This forced division had to disappear, and many nonracist groups worked toward that end. But almost every nonracist group was still largely white, notably so in the student world. thus here we were confronted with the same shortcoming: the context of getting rid of white-black tensions was still a white context.

So we realize that blacks themselves had to speak out about the black predicament. We could no longer depend upon whites answering the question: "Who are we?" There had to be a singularity of purpose in that answer. the white trustees would always be mixed in purpose."

Source:  Donald Woods. Biko. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 1987.

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