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Textual Commentary on ‘Black Souls in White Skins’ in ‘I Write What I Like’ by Steve Biko
Religion and Theology
Pages 8 (2008 words)
Between 1967 and 1977, the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa inspired a significant and “coherent body of thought”.1 The Black Consciousness Movement started out as a student initiative and grew into an educational tool for mobilising “activity” as opposed to “activism”.
Biko’s philosophical message corresponds with black theology as it was heavily themed with encouraging Blacks to depend on themselves rather than White liberals to successfully fight apartheid.3 In this regard, liberalism in the context of apartheid, South Africa refers to advocates for freedom from coercion, discrimination and oppression and equal access to political, social, educational, health and economic opportunities.4 Kee argues that Black Consciousness’s philosophy was founded on Black theology which proposes that God will not solve our problems.5 Biko’s Black Souls in White Skins embodies the concept of self-help as captured by the Black Consciousness Movement and black theology which is a Christian expression and rejection of oppression as experienced by Blacks.6 From Biko’s perspective, White liberalism could not capture this experience and in attempting to do so, White liberals perpetuated the notion that Whites were superior to Blacks and could speak for and on behalf of Blacks. ...
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