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Did the Soweto Uprising on June 16th 1976 lead to the death of Steve Biko?

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Introduction

Did the Soweto Uprising on June 16th 1976 lead to the death of Steve Biko? I believe that the Soweto Uprising did lead to the death of Steve Biko as the apartheid government began to realize how much of a threat the Black Consciousness Movement was becoming and they felt that they had to do something to halt its progress. The Black Consciousness Movement heavily supported the protests against the policies of the apartheid regime which led to the Soweto riots in June of 1976. The government's efforts to suppress the growing movement led to the imprisonment of Steve Biko, who became a symbol of the struggle. Biko died in police custody on September 12, 1977. ...read more.

Middle

It seemed to some that the key goals of Black Consciousness had been attained, in that black identity and psychological liberation were growing. People were inspired by the Soweto Uprising and Biko's death including Desmond Tutu, and the Black Consciousness Movement kept growing and spreading. Biko and the legacy of the Black Consciousness movement assisted in giving the resistance a sense of fearlessness. Its emphasis on individual psychological pride aided people in realizing that they could not wait for distant leaders to free them but that they had to take matters into their own hands. As Umkhonto weSizwe struggled to make progress, this new fearlessness soon resulted in a new battle on the streets, in which larger groups of ordinary people confronted the authorities much more frequently and aggressively. ...read more.

Conclusion

The movement gave hope and pride to a new generation of people, who had reached a level of consciousness about the plight of Blacks in apartheid South Africa that could not continue to be ignored. The Government thought that that the death of Biko would bring the end of resistance but on the contrary it provoked more violence and the struggle would grow and escalate out of control. It is clearly evident that the role played by Biko and his colleagues in the Black Consciousness Movement as well as in the fight for South Africa's freedom cannot be under-estimated. Biko's life reflected the aspirations of many frustrated young Black people. After his death Biko became a symbol of Black Nationalism and even after death, his spirit lives on. ...read more.

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