Definitions

Biko

Biko

[bee-koh]
Biko, Steve (Steven Biko), 1946-77, South African political leader. A medical student, he founded (1969) a black student organization and developed a national "black consciousness" movement to combat racism and apartheid policies. Arrested in 1977, he died in police custody, prompting international protests and a UN arms embargo. In 1997 five former policemen admitted killing him.

(born Dec. 18, 1946, King William's Town, S.Af.—died Sept. 12, 1977, Pretoria) South African political activist. A former medical student, in 1968 he founded the Black Consciousness movement, designed to raise black awareness of apartheid oppression. He was officially “banned” by the South African government in 1973 and was arrested several times in 1976–77. His death from head injuries suffered in police custody made him an international martyr for South African black nationalism. The initial inquest absolved the police of wrongdoing, but in 1997 five former officers confessed to Biko's murder.

Learn more about Biko, Stephen with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born Dec. 18, 1946, King William's Town, S.Af.—died Sept. 12, 1977, Pretoria) South African political activist. A former medical student, in 1968 he founded the Black Consciousness movement, designed to raise black awareness of apartheid oppression. He was officially “banned” by the South African government in 1973 and was arrested several times in 1976–77. His death from head injuries suffered in police custody made him an international martyr for South African black nationalism. The initial inquest absolved the police of wrongdoing, but in 1997 five former officers confessed to Biko's murder.

Learn more about Biko, Stephen with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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