Black consciousness and white liberals in South Africa : paradoxical anti-apartheid politics
Author(s)Maimela, Mabel Raisibe
Black Conciousness Movement of South Africa
Biko, Steve, 1946-1977 -- Views on liberalism
Biko, Steve, 1946-1977 -- Influence
Anti-apartheid movements -- South Africa
Government, Resistance to -- South Africa
Black nationalism -- South Africa
Liberalism -- South Africa
Whites -- South Africa -- Political activity
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AbstractThis research challenges the hypothesis that Biko was anti-liberal and anti-white. Biko's clearly defined condemnation of traditional South African white liberals such as Alan Paton is hypothesised as a strategic move in the liberation struggle designed to neutralise the "gradualism" of traditional white liberalism which believe that racism could be ultimately superseded by continually improving education for blacks. Biko neutralised apartheid racism and traditional white liberalism by affirming all aspects of blackness as positive values in themselves, and by locating racism as a white construct with deep roots in European colonialism and pseudoDarwinian
beliefs in white superiority. The research shows that Biko was neither anti-liberal nor anti-white. His own attitudes to the universal rights, dignity, freedom and self-determination of all human beings situate him continuously with all major human rights theorists and activists since the Enlightenment. His unique Africanist contribution was to define racist oppression in South Africa as a product of the historical conditioning of blacks to accept their own alleged inferiority. Biko's genius resided in his ability to synthesize his reading of Marxist, Africanist, European and African American into a truly original charter for racial emancipation. Biko' s methodology encouraged blacks to reclaim their rights and pride as a prelude to total emancipation. The following transactions are described in detail: Biko's role in the founding of SASO and Black Consciousness; the paradoxical relations between white liberal theologians, Black Consciousness and Black Theology; the influence on BC of USA Black Power and Black Theology; the role of Black Theologians in South African churches, SACC and WCC; synergic
complexities ofNUSAS-SASO relations; relations between BC, ANC and PAC; the early involvement of women in BCM; feminist issues in the liberation struggle; Biko's death in detention; world-wide and South African liberal involvement in the inquest and anti-apartheid organisations.
D. Litt. et Phil. (History)
Maimela, Mabel Raisibe (1999) Black consciousness and white liberals in South Africa : paradoxical anti-apartheid politics, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <http://hdl.handle.net/10500/17296>
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