When the professional lives of Stephen Bantu (Steve) Biko (1946-1977) and Leonard Peltier are compared and contrasted their philosophy, attitudes, methods, and goals are strikingly similar as well as different. Although both individuals lived almost halfway across the world from each other, their motives and actions were very similar. Steve Biko believed that in order to win, the black man must not feel inferior to the white man. Leonard Peltier believes in aboriginal pride. In essence, Steve Biko introduced the idea of “black consciousness” while Leonard Peltier inspired “aboriginal consciousness.” Steve Biko and Leonard Peltier are definite leaders who made many sacrifices in order to achieve a similar goal. Freedom.
From an early age Steve Biko showed an interest in anti-Apartheid politics. After he was expelled from his first school, Love dale, in the Eastern Cape for ‘anti-establishment’ behavior, he transferred to a Roman Catholic boarding school in Natal. It was there he enrolled as a student at the University of Natal Medical School, Black Section. While Biko was attending medical school he became involved in the NUSAS, short for National Union of South African Students. Unfortunately, NUSAS was dominated by white men who failed to represent the needs of the black students. Biko resigned in 1969 and founded the SASO, short for South African Students Organization.
Worldwide, most students attend either single-sex schools or co-ed schools. Is there a difference? Close analysis of both systems of schooling shows that in terms of social, academic and emotional growth, co-ed schools are better. Firstly, it is important to explore the advantages and disadvantages of both systems. Co-ed school provides a superb environment and opportunity for both sexes to mix, ...
SASO provided legal aid and medical clinics, as well as helping develop cottage industries for less fortunate black communities. Biko’s idea of “black consciousness,” is another way of saying in modern terms, “black pride.” He believed that in order to win independence from the Apartheid government the black people would have to come to one realization. That blacks are not inferior to whites, but equal. In 1972, Biko was one of the founders of the Black Peoples Convention (BPC) working on social improvement projects in the Durban area. They brought together about 70 different “black consciousness” groups and associations. Some examples of the groups and associations are the South African Student’s Associations, the National Associations of Youth Organizations, and the Black Workers Project.
Biko was elected as the first president of the BPC and was expelled from medical school. He started working for the Black Community Program (BCP) in Durban, which he also helped found. In 1973 Steve Biko was “banned” by the Apartheid government. Under the “ban” Biko was restricted to his home town of Kings William’s Town in the Eastern Cape – he could no longer support the BCP in Durban, but was able to continue working for the BPC – he helped set up the Zi mele Trust Fund which assisted political prisoners and their families. Biko’s philosophy towards life is that everyone is created equal.
There is no superior or inferior being. All human beings are born with the same natural rights as everyone else. He believed that people should not be classified as inferior or superior by the color of their skin or by the culture and traditions that a group of peoples practice. He believed that it was immoral and unjust to treat a group of people as inferior beings. Biko also believed in non-violence. He hated violence with a passion.
But instead Biko believed strongly in confrontation. He believed that confrontation, not violence, was the key to all problems. Biko was anti-apartheid since he was little. He feels ambivalence towards the white community. He respects some people such as Donald Woods, while despising those who makes the African people suffer so much. He feels bitter and feels no pity for those who oppress him and his people.
Over the past decades there have been many changes in attitudes towards many things. There have been leaps and bounds made in technology, education, medicine just to name a few. But with all of these changes surrounding people has there been a change where it counts the most, race relations. There has been some shifts in the relationship between races but they are not necessarily what they should ...
This is because he believes that what they are doing is not right. Leonard Peltier (1944 – present day), a citizen of the Anishinabe and Lakota Nations, is a father, a grandfather, an artist, a writer, and an Indigenous rights activist. He has spent more than twenty-six years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Amnesty International considers him a “political prisoner” who should be “immediately and unconditionally released.” Despite these hardships Leonard Peltier, like Steve Biko, has been a very influential person.
In a sense, he has encouraged the idea of “aboriginal consciousness.” He has become a symbol that reminds people of the 500 years colonial oppression and the resistance to it. Peltier’s refusal to succumb inspires an enormous amount of resistance for the world’s indigenous peoples. He reminds many of the legacy of their ancestors and “one more letter or demonstration is really not a that great a burden.” He gives hope to those people who have lost all hope. It seems as though Leonard Peltier’s attitude towards the group that is oppressing him is one of bitterness. He says “Year after year I sit through meaningless parole hearings where I am told that I must take responsibility for a crime I did not commit.
All the while, the faces of my brothers and sisters who were killed during that era, loom in my head, as I suppress my bitterness over such blatant discrimination and injustice.” On the contrary, Peltier says, “Friends, I am not writing this statement out of bitterness, but out of alarm. When will these kinds of abuses be stopped?” He tells us that he is not better yet alarmed at the group that oppresses him and other innocent people. Despite his wrong conviction he knows that eventually it will be the efforts of the people that will set him free from this injustice. In one of Peltier’s letters he says, “If the FBI thought that Martin Luther King was a threat to the “American way of life” then we must ask, what way of life do they defend, and do the American people want the FBI to act on their behalf?” When the lives of Steve Biko and Leonard Peltier are compared and contrasted, the similarities are strikingly similar. Even though both of these great individuals lived almost halfway across the world and were born 2 years apart from each other, the ideas that they introduced to their people are based on the roots and ideas. Both say the violence is not the key yet if there is a problem it should be confronted.
June 13, 1999 I'll start in the formal traditional way by addressing President Casper and Provost Rice, the trustees and faculty, the honored guests, the graduates and their families and their guests. Thanks a lot for inviting me to come here. I really appreciate it. I call attention to the formality of the traditional beginning of this kind of speech, because one of the things I want to talk to ...
Also, the individual should have pride in his / her nationality, no matter what it may be. They both believe that in the end, justice will be served. Another similarity is that both of them became symbols in which their people could base their ideas and hopes on. The lives of Biko and Peltier are different in that Biko established many “black consciousness” groups in order to help combat the apartheid government. Also, Biko was “banned” under the apartheid government. Biko’s ideas were more effective than Peltier’s but they both reached a desired goal.
Also, another major difference is that Leonard Peltier has done most of his work behind bars. He has been imprisoned for about 26 years for a crime that he did not commit. It takes a man with great courage and wisdom to stand up for what he believes in even though he is confined to a jail cell. The lives of these great individuals were great. Both Biko and Peltier did great things in order achieve freedom and independence for their people. If they saw problems they confronted them.
If they saw corruptions they tried to fix them. Both of these men should be labeled “great individuals” because of the sacrifices that they made for the good of other people. They were not selfish at all. Both are willing to die for what is right and moral. (2002, December 27).
Free Peltier [WWW document].
URL web > (2002, December 27).
Biography of Stephen Bantu Biko [WWW document]. URL web > (2002, December 27).
Background Steve Biko: Martyr of the anti-apartheid movement [WWW document]. URL web > (2002, December 27).
Free Peltier [WWW document].
URL web > (2003, January 5).
Biko’s Black Consciousness [WWW document]. URL web > A People on the Boil. (1987) by Harry Masha bela.
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