Steve Bantu Biko
Steve Biko (1946-1977). Political activist.
Martyred spokesman for the black consciousness movement whose death in detention was the cause of an international outcry and the source of numerous books and plays. These include the stage play The Biko Inquest by John Blair and Norman Fenton and the novel Cry Freedom by Donald Woods (on which the film by Richard Attenborough was based). Steve Biko was an eloquent, powerful leader of the Black Consciousness movement and an opponent of the apartheid system. In I968 he formed SASO (South African Student Organization), a black student association, after breaking away from NUSAS (National Union of South African Students). In I969 he became SASO's first president and served as its publicity secretary in 1970. On I8 August 1977 he was detained under the Terrorism Act and died in detention on I2 September. The inquest revealed that the police had kept Biko naked and manacled and determined that the cause of death was brain damage.
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