Even though he died at a mere 30 years of age in 1977, Steve Biko is one of the greatest heroes worth celebrating for his fight against the Apartheid in South Africa.
Google celebrates his 70th birthday on the new Google Doodle.
Steve Biko was the founder of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM), a movement that empowered black people to stand together in pride and solidarity against Apartheid.
He slowly became involved in black activism when he was studying medicine at the University of Natal. He founded the South African Students’ Organization, becoming its first leader in 1968.
In 1972, he was expelled from medical school and devoted his life to becoming a full time activist against the Apartheid.
He rallied with people in Soweto, a black town in Johannesburg, who protested against the education system being in Afrikaans – a language heavily linked to the Apartheid.
This was one of the main events that helped the people defeat the Apartheid movement. The government authorities brutally shot 170 people dead that day in order to stop the protest.
Biko was a relentless voice for justice, who refused to back down regardless of the fact that the Apartheid targeted him constantly.
He was banned from speaking publically in February 1973, or even speak to more than one person at a time.
He was arrested on August 18 1977, where he was stripped naked and taken to the Security Police headquarters in Port Elizabeth and subjected torture until he died.
The security police responsible for his death were not prosecuted for their crime.
Over 15,000 people attended his funeral, despite efforts of the South African security police to block entry.
Of his most inspiring quotes:
– “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”
– “People must not give in to the hardship of life. People must develop a hope.”
– “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”