Thu Oct 27 18:59:24 SAST 2016
Order restored at Sun City Prison after fiery protest over inmates’ TVs

Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.


By unknown | Sep 16, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

"The best blacks could do was just to be there, and to allow whites to speak on their behalf. And all blacks were doing all this time was clap and say 'amen'."

"The best blacks could do was just to be there, and to allow whites to speak on their behalf. And all blacks were doing all this time was clap and say 'amen'."

When you read Biko Lives! Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko, you will have the rare opportunity to meet him and view the world through his intelligent, philosophical eyeballs and brain cells.

This, and more is splashed out in piercing black and white, for example in his interview with Gail M Gerhart, American political scientist in Biko Lives! when she probed him about his opinion about the "intellectual origins of the black consciousness movement".

To this he supplied a long, eloquent reply which can be summarised as follows: influence from organisations such as the National Union of South African Students (Nusas) - of which Biko was a member - and Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and, importantly, reading political books such Black Power by Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton.

Forget Cry Freedom, starring Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington - it did the Steve Biko phenomenon a disservice. What do you expect from a Mzansi movie penned and produced by Hollywood half-filled brains? It's undoubtedly not a fair account of the man many regard as the father of black consciousness (BC) in this country and beyond its borders.

Though BC had existed for a long time as a way of self-actualisation, especially in black America, as reminiscent in works of Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X, Biko repackaged it to suit apartheid South Africa.

This was to encourage blacks, like students in Nusas, to cease taking a back seat and allowing whites thinking - in Nusas it was white students - or baaskap (white supremacy) to drive political battles about blacks because blacks were "the only people who are affected; we are the ones who carry passes."

Biko was essentially echoing Malcolm X's "black man you're on your own" manifesto.

Biko Lives! Contesting the Legacies of Steve Biko is not just about him, but his overarching role. It relates how other BC radicals such as Onkgopotse Abraham Tiro, Tsietsi Mashinini, Mapetla Mohapi and Mthuli ka Shezi - a cousin whose life I'm told was snuffed out when I was an infant - all took a defiant stance against the apartheid beasts and were literally cut down.

The defiance of youthful BC lions overwhelmed Nelson Mandela. He had never come across anything like it - young BC inmates who "confronted the old political leaders who had been sitting in jail for decades with little hope, little fire for rebellion".

Says Mandela: "These fellows refused to conform to basic prison regulations," making an example of a resilient young man "who was no more than 18", who refused to take off his cap, as was the rule, "in the presence of senior [white] officials" and "nor would he stand up when the major entered the room, another violation".


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