The Black Consciousness History

BCM movements aimed to help black people in South Africa become proud of their own identity. The BCM was formed because many of the countries ANC leaders at the time were either in exile or in prison. The fight against apartheid had slowed down after the banning of the ANC. Steve Biko created the BCM because he wanted to give black people the opportunity to fight against the government without having to leave the country.

Steve Biko was responsible for the founding of many black student political organizations in South Africa. He chose to create his own organization instead of joining the multi racial student organizations that already existed. Biko created the BCM to help free black people mentally and physically. One of his famous quotes was “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed”. Steve Biko was responsible for many community projects, which happened in King Williams Town. The BCM didn’t only aim to achieve equality for all black people in South Africa but it also aimed to create a sense of Black pride.

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The 1976 uprising fought against the implementation of a law that would force all learners to be taught in Afrikaans. The students protested against this matter, the Black consciousness movement supported the students. Many of the student’s home language were Xhosa and Zulu. By making the students learn only in Afrikaans the government was not giving them the chance to learn their home language and the BCM aimed to encourage black pride in South Africa and implementing this law wouldn’t help the cause.

The black consciousness movement gave people living in South Africa the opportunity to fight against the government within the country. These ideas inspired the students to protest against these laws and they felt they were losing their identity if they were being forced to learn in a language of the oppressor. Steve Biko believed that the black people should be independent and be proud of their image. These ideas inspired the students to revolt against the government and fight for what they believed in. They felt that their parents had tried their best to end the struggle but it was now up to them to change things in South Africa.

Steve Biko believed that the black people had to bee freed psychologically Steve Biko’s ideas did help influence the 1976 uprising. Steve Biko founded many black student organizations around the country. The protests were planned by these student organizations. They is a possibility that if Biko hadn’t founded these organizations the uprising could of still occurred. But the start of the BCM was a building block for many protests that occurred in South African during the 1970’s. Organizations such as the Soweto Students’ Representative Council were instrumental In the planning of the uprisings and the idea of starting such organizations came from Steve Biko and the numerous organizations he had started around the country.

Steve Biko gave people the opportunity to fight against the government in South Africa during apartheid without having to join any political party. This idea influenced the children into protesting against the education system and caused the Soweto uprising. The students had the opportunity to protest against the government in huge numbers and they were supported by the BCM and the ANC in exile. The BCM gave them this opportunity.

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The Black Consciousness History. (2016, Aug 19). Retrieved from