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Ion Zidarescu
Ion Zidarescu


Steve Biko: I Write What I Like

Steve Biko was a South African anti-apartheid activist and leader of the Black Consciousness Movement. He was arrested, tortured and killed by the apartheid regime in 1977. His writings, speeches and interviews have been collected in a book titled I Write What I Like, which is considered a classic of African liberation literature.

In this article, we will explore the main themes and messages of Biko's writings, as well as the sources where you can download the book for free.


Black Consciousness and Liberation

One of the central concepts in Biko's writings is Black Consciousness, which he defined as "the cultural and political revival of an oppressed people". Biko argued that black people in South Africa had been subjected to a systematic process of dehumanization, inferiorization and exploitation by the white minority. He believed that black people had to liberate themselves from the psychological chains of oppression, and reclaim their dignity, identity and history.

Biko also advocated for a non-racial democracy in South Africa, where all people would be treated equally and have equal opportunities. He rejected the idea of racial integration within an oppressive system, and called for a radical transformation of the society. He wrote: "We are not interested in being integrated into an existing power structure. We want to change that power structure so that it can meet the needs of all people."

Critique of Liberalism and White Racism

Biko was also critical of the role of white liberals and progressives in the anti-apartheid struggle. He accused them of being paternalistic, hypocritical and complicit in the oppression of black people. He argued that white liberals often spoke on behalf of black people, without listening to their voices and demands. He also challenged them to confront their own racism and privilege, and to support black leadership and autonomy.

Biko also exposed the various forms of white racism that pervaded the South African society, from overt violence and discrimination, to subtle manipulation and co-optation. He denounced the myth of white superiority and black inferiority, and urged black people to resist internalizing these false notions. He wrote: "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."

Inspiration and Legacy

Biko's writings have inspired generations of activists, scholars and artists across Africa and the world. His ideas have influenced movements such as the Black Panther Party in the United States, the Black Consciousness Movement in Brazil, and the Fees Must Fall movement in South Africa. His life and death have also been depicted in films, books, songs and poems by various artists, such as Richard Attenborough, Peter Gabriel, Ben Okri and Njabulo Ndebele.

Biko's legacy continues to be relevant today, as the world faces new challenges of racism, inequality and injustice. His writings offer a powerful vision of liberation, solidarity and humanism, that can inspire us to create a more humane and democratic society.

Free Download Sources

If you are interested in reading more of Biko's writings, you can download his book I Write What I Like for free from the following sources:

  • [Internet Archive]: This is a digital library that offers free access to millions of books, movies, music and more. You can download Biko's book in various formats, such as PDF, EPUB or MOBI.

  • [EPDF]: This is a website that allows you to download PDF files for free. You can find Biko's book among other African writers' works.

  • [Internet Archive]: This is another version of Biko's book on the Internet Archive, with a different title and editor. It is called I Write What I Like: Selected Writings, edited by Aelred Stubbs.


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