Stephen Biko

Essay by CheaterHigh School, 11th gradeA, January 1997

download word file, 4 pages 3.8

Stephen Bantu Biko

Stephen Biko is known internationally as the founder of the South African Students' Organization (SASO), and a leading force in the South Africa Black Consciousness movement. He fought against the separation between black and whites, called apartheid (the Afrikaans term for separateness). His childhood experiences and character, lead him to became a powerful leader.

Steve Biko was born on December 18, 1946, in King William's Town, South Africa. He father was a clerk and his mother was a housemaid. Following the Sharpeville massacre in 1960, Biko was just 17 years old when he became a political activist. He started to become active when he got expelled from Lovedale High School and his brother was arrested in a nationwide police crackdown on political activists. He ended up graduating in 1966 at a boarding school in Natal named St. Francis College.

By then, his mind and character were those of a leader.

He had a quick brain with huge mental force and ideas. He had the gift to cut through to the core of a problem and find the best solution. 'His mind was a tool to chisel out sense and truth and order' (Woods 78). Biko was thoughtful, sensitive and had a good sense of humor. He was motivated by the search for good and truth.

At the University of Natal Medicine in 1968, he became involved in the multiracial National Union of South African Students. He was known by peers and adults as a student leader This organization fought for black rights, except he claimed that, 'the white [were] doing all the talking and the blacks listening' (Biko 210). Biko wanted the blacks to have as much say and participation as the whites, so in 1968 he became the co-founder and first president of he...