"I write what I Like"

Excerpts From Steve Biko's Book

"I WRITE WHAT I LIKE" pg. 66-67"  We Coloured men, in this specific moment of historical evolution, have consciously grasped in its full breath, the notion of our peculiar uniqueness, the notion of who we are and what, and the we are ready, on every plane and in every department, to assume the responsibilities which proceed from this coming into consciouness. The peculiarity of our place in the world is not to be confused with anyone else's. The peculiarity of our problems which aren't to be reduced to subordinate forms of any other problems. The peculiarity of our history, laced with terrible misfortunes which belong to no other history. The peculiarity of our culture, which we intend to live and to make live in an ever realler manner.' (Aime' Cesaire, 1956, in his letter of resignation from the French Communist Party.) At about the same time that Cesaire said this, there emerging in South Africa a group of angry young black men who were beginning to "grasp the notion of (their) peculiar uniqueness" and who were eager to define who they were and what. These were the elements who were disgruntled with the direction imposed on the African National Congress by the "old guard" within its leadership. These young men were questioning a number of things, among which was the"go slow" attitude adopted by the leadership, and the ease with which the leadership accepted coalitions with organizations other than those run by blacks. The People'sCharter' adopted in Kliptown in 1955 was evidence of this. In a sense one can say that that these the first real signs that the blacks in South Africa were beginning to realise the need to go it alone and to evolve a philosophy based on, and directed by, blacks. In other words, Black Consciouness was slowly manifesting itself....


Coming Next an Excerpt From: Chronicles of Negro Protest