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Tuesday
Sep132016

Steve Biko and Black Consciousness - a lecture by Prof Barney Pityana

Today Prof Barney Pityana gave a superb lecture on Black Consciousness and the legacy of Steve Biko at Stellenbosch University.

He celebrated the contribution of Steve Biko who was murdered by the apartheid Security Police on 12 September 1977.

He did, however, remind us that Black Consciousness is an important discourse that has continued in the years since Biko's death. We need to understand that the discourse has developed and grown and even matured in recent decades. While this important movement is irrevocably linked to the legacy of Steve Biko, it is an ongoing movement that finds varied expressions and has developed in different (and at times even conflicting) ways.

A few years ago I came across this beautiful quote from Biko's "I write what I like" that is a strong expression of the contribution of Africa, and Black Africanness (or as some have rightly shown, Black Southern African thinking), to contemporary social identity:

"[Western society] seems to be very concerned with perfecting their technological know-how while losing out on their spiritual dimension. We believe that in the long run the special contribution to the world by Africa will be in this field of human relationship. The great powers of the world may have done wonders in giving the world an industrial and military look, but the great gift still has to come from Africa - giving the world a more human face" (Biko 1978:46).

Prof Patyana will also be doing a keynote lecture at the Global Network for Public Theology - see details for that even here: http://www.sun.ac.za/english/faculty/theology/bnc/programmes/gnpt-2016

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