Black Consciousness In South Africa

The Black Consciousness Movement is arguably the most influential student movement in the 1970s, in Apartheid South Africa. Black Consciousness is defined as the awareness of one’s identity as a black person.Freedom For South Africa Continue reading

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Beautiful poetry. Follow blkgirlswrite for more like this.

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By Lindokuhle Makapela, 6 Sep ’16

Edward Said states that the way in which the West has studied the East, Africa and the rest of the world is prejudiced and very ethnocentric (Said, 1978:10). The West uses studies of the East and Africa to assert their power and dominance, instead of viewing these parts of the world as equal counterparts. Said coins this term orientalism. Orientalism refers to the representation of the East and Africa in a stereotypical way that is regarded as embodying a colonialism attitude. Orientalism can also be defined as the body and tradition of western representations of the Orient (Said, 1978:16). Dogan and Pelassy (1990:23) state that comparison is the engine of knowledge. Comparison is said to be one of the most basic human activities, and is something we do daily, both consciously and unconsciously. Comparative politics is the systematic study of institutions and performance of governments and political processes around the world (Dogan and Pelassy, 1990:29). Said’s argument on comparative politics is that the way in which the West views the East or rather, the Orient, is in such a way that distorts the actual reality of these places and its people (Said, 1978:19). In the following essay, I will be discussing Edward Said’s orientalism and providing a critical analysis of orientalist representations of the East and Africa, by the West. I will be making use of various examples to substantiate my argument.

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Azania – Land Of The Melanated

There often exists an undeclared state of war among people involv­ed in the struggle for liberation as between those who support and those who are against the use of the name Azania as an alternative name for a liberated South Africa. This is because the debate concerns much more than a name: It involves everything that we are fighting for; it concerns the very nature of the society we seek to build.

Those who oppose the use of the name Azania often argue that it means “the land of the slaves”. This is a contradiction in terms, for slaves are by definition people who are owned, they can hardly own a thing, let alone land. In any event, this tenuous logic would oppose the use of the word “proletariat” because it derives from the parasite of Ancient Greece who lived at the expense of slave society It would also oppose the name “Cuba” which recently referred to a slave society. Continue reading

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Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of posts from angry “land thieves” regarding decolonisation and land reform. They seem to believe that, because the Nguni tribes that now make up the majority of Azania’s population “migrated” from Central Africa into the southern parts of the continent thus nearly eradicating the tribes that had settled on this diverse 1.2 million km² piece of beautiful land, decolonisation is a hypocritical concept coming from the mouths of Nguni people angered by the aftermath of colonialism and, effectively, Apartheid.


Now, this would be a sensible argument, assuming “decolonisation” was a concept exclusive to South Africa. However, we, the Nguni people, are Afrikan before we are “South African.” When the Nguni people trekked south in pursuit of inhabitable land, they weren’t crossing any borders as they hadn’t been made as yet. Borderlines are but a by-product of colonialism. You rarely hear stories of European nations at each other’s throats over land issues. It is one thing to annex a neighbouring country or one within your continent but to sail to a completely different land mass with the intention of raping, torturing and killing millions of the inhabitants and then claiming their land as yours solely for the purpose of looking powerful. When the Nguni people came to Azania it was due to a growing need for food and resources and they did not kill off the Khoi. The Khoi were victims of the settlers’ genocidal ways. After which they stole the resources our beautiful land had borne us. It is for this reason that “South Africa’s” biggest mining company has its headquarters in London. It was founded by Ernest Oppenheimer whose grandson Nicky is currently the second richest man in South Africa thus proving that the gains from the stolen resources has not changed hands and inequality still lingers. Additionally, the biggest diamond mining company has its headquarters in Luxembourg. This was founded by Cecil John Rhodes who, for some reason still has a university and a “foundation” glorifying his name over a century after his death. It is small gestures like these that illuminate the deceitful ways in which colonialism is continuously being etched in the impressionable minds of oblivious South Africans.

A letter that got my attention was Tian Alberts’ letter to Edward Jacobs regarding his post about Stellenbosch’s “Ou Hoofgebou” representing the centuries of “hegemony, imperialism and colonialism” that our forefathers were subjected to by “white men who stole their land”. She argues that any principled man believing in this “extremist hogwash” would not have set foot in on the Stellenbosch grounds in the first place. As much as many of these “extremists” might not necessarily want to be at such an institution, the aftermath of this very colonialism still haunts us today. As a result, we are required to go to these schools to gain the best of the Western knowledge there is in order to stand a better chance of economic prosperity in a world run by Western policies whether subliminally or in our faces. Many young black kids are thrown into institutions that embrace this culture of, in most cases mental, oppression; as subtle as it might be. They very easily lose touch with their roots in an attempt to fit in only to find that the very people they sacrificed their identities to try and impress, really had no interest in friendship post-Matric. Be it at a primary school level or in high school.
In essence, we must remember that it is not easy for young blacks living in South Africa as the systematic oppression of our peoples minds has put us in a position where we are required to gain Western education in order to improve our chances of coming close to having or pleas for land reform catered to and getting the message across to as many people as possible as it is difficult to get to influential positions without the education offered by the oppressors’ schooling system.

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Now or Never.

The modern world is so obsessed with: being one, speaking one language, looking the same, being controlled by one state.
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Relevance Of Black Consciousness Today

To truly be able to determine whether Black Consciousness is relevant today, an analysis of the way South Africa has fared under the ANC’s administration is necessary, something that is outside the scope of this article. Nevertheless, it is possible to suggest some overarching areas in which Black Consciousness can still inform or develop present day South Africa.

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Black History Month #BHM

“If you do not know what was; you cannot understand what is and you are therefore ill-prepared for what is yet to come. Wise people study history because it is cyclical in nature. For history is the recorded deeds of men and women and nations as they struggle with impediments in our evolutionary march towards the absolute.” –Minister Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam at the Malcolm X lecture.

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Morality in Capitalism

Marcus Garvey, Malcom X, Steve Biko, Martin Luther King Jr. were all from the Afrikans school of thought. The perfect balance of spirit and self-reliance.

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AZAPO – The remnants of the BCM

TAzapo Logohe Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO) is a South African political party and a former freedom movement. The organisation’s two student wings are the Azanian Students’ Movement (AZASM) for high school learners and the other being for tertiary students called the Azanian Students’ Convention (AZASCO), its women’s wing is the Imbeleko Women’s Organisation, simply known as IMBELEKO. Its inspiration is drawn from the Black Consciousness Movement philosophies developed by Steve Biko, Onkgopotse Tiro and Vuyelwa Mashalaba.

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Biko Commemoration Day

you are human

Saturday marked the 38th anniversary of the death of activist and struggle icon, Bantu Biko. Biko’s corpse was discovered in a prison cell in Pretoria on 12 September 1977. He sustained brain damage after being beaten and transported for over 1100km (700mi) in a police van from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria.

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