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Top 15 powerful quotes of Stephen Biko

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Stephen Biko was an activist who spearheaded the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa. Born on December 18, 1946, Stephen Biko was at fore-front of anti-apartheid campaigns in South Africa.

Although he died in Police custody in 1977, Biko remains one of South Africa’s most recognized iconic heroes.

Here are Top 15 powerful quotes of Stephen Biko

1. The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed

2. You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can’t care anyway

3. Being black is not a matter of pigmentation—being black is a reflection of a mental attitude.

4. If you want to say something radical, you should dress conservative

5. It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die

6. Merely by describing yourself as black you have started on a road towards emancipation, you have committed yourself to fight against all forces that seek to use your blackness as a stamp that marks you out as a subservient being

7. I’m going to be me as I am, and you can beat me or jail me or even kill me, but I’m not going to be what you want me to be

8. Women must be at the forefront of nation-building to bring the South African citizenry together and, therefore, develop a whole new ethos of human co-existence.

A struggle without casualties is no struggle – Steve Biko

9. Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time

10. A people without a positive history is like a vehicle without an engine.

11. Black is Beautiful

12. It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realise that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality. The first step therefore is to make the black man come to himself; to pump back life into his empty shell; to infuse him with pride and dignity, to remind him of his complicity in the crime of allowing himself to be misused and therefore letting evil reign supreme in the country of his birth.

13. The blacks are tired of standing at the touchlines to witness a game that they should be playing. They want to do things for themselves and all by themselves

14. We do not want to be reminded that it is we, the indigenous people, who are poor and exploited in the land of our birth. These are concepts which the Black Consciousness approach wishes to eradicate from the black man’s mind before our society is driven to chaos by irresponsible people from Coca-cola and hamburger cultural backgrounds.

15. In a bid for change, we have to take off our coats, be prepared to lose our comfort and security, our jobs and positions of prestige, and our families.


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