In 1969, when organized black opposition to apartheid was virtually quiet, university students formed an exclusively black student organization, the South African Students Organization (SASO). This was the beginning of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) that focused on cultivating the ability of black people to change the oppressive situation in South Africa by rejecting the ideology (and eventually the system) of apartheid. Black Consciousness (BC) adherents sought to liberate black people psychologically through “conscientization,” or the realization of black self-worth and the need for black activism. They stressed economic self-reliance and a return to African culture and values. They also redefined “black” to include all people of color who experienced racial discrimination under apartheid, and they worked to create a united black front.
One of the most innovative and ambitious books to appear on the civil rights and black power movements in America, Just My Soul Responding also offers a major challenge to conventional histories of contemporary black and popular music. Brian Ward explores in detail the previously neglected relationship between Rhythm and Blues, black consciousness, and race relations within the context of the ongoing struggle for black freedom and equality in the United States.
The Black Consciousness Movement is an umbrella term used to describe the black consciousness ideology and the different organisations and groups centred around it. The ideology was propagated in the sixties, mainly by students. They formed numerous organisations through which to channel their black consciousness propaganda. Steve Biko, who died in custody in September 1977, was a major exponent of the black consciousness philosophy.
Steve Biko was an exceptional and inspirational leader, a pivotal figure in South African history. As a leading anti-apartheid activist and thinker, Biko created the Black Consciousness Movement, the grassroots organization which would mobilize a large proportion of the black urban population. His death in policy custody at the age of just 30 robbed South Africa of one of its most gifted leaders.