I Write What I Like – Steve Biko


This book covers the basic philosophy of black consciousness, Bantustans, African culture, the institutional church and Western involvement in apartheid.

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I Write What I Like

I Write What I Like contains a selection of Biko’s writings from 1969, when he became the president of the South African Students’ Organisation.

“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” Like all of Steve Biko’s writings, those words testify to the passion of the man. The courage, and keen insight that made him one of the most powerful figures in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. They also reflect his conviction that black people in South Africa could not be liberated until they united to break their chains of servitude, a key tenet of the Black Consciousness movement that he helped found.

The collection also includes a preface by Archbishop Desmond Tutu which is an introduction by Malusi and Thoko Mpumlwana. Both involved with Biko in the Black Consciousness movement; a memoir of Biko by Father Aelred Stubbs, his longtime pastor and friend; and a new foreword by Professor Lewis Gordon.

Biko’s writings will inspire and educate anyone concerned with issues of racism, postcolonialism, and black nationalism.

Sincere and thought provoking. He deals with a wide range of issues- racism, the role of religion in the revolutionary struggle, the socio-political structures of the apartheid regime (including Bantustans and the racial division of education), black culture, the role of fear in perpetuating oppression and his own stoicism in the face of torture and death.

Like him or hate him, Biko stands out as a man who, literarily, put his life on the line for what he believed. His courage shines through the pages of this book.

On 12th September 1977, Steve Biko was murdered in his prison cell. He was only 31. His vision and charisma – captured in this collection of his work – had already transformed the agenda of South African politics.

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