Bantu Steve Biko was killed on 12 September 2016 and 39 years later, we commemorate him. We also use this day to reflect on his writings and teachings. Ideologies that I believe deserve more than just a day to be interrogated in society. One of the reasons I resigned from my job (besides the purpose question) in 2011 was because I couldn't breathe anymore. I had just been introduced to the writings of Biko and it felt as if I had been living a lie all my life. It is amazing how many of us grow up and assimilate into whiteness without being conscious about it. That is how society has been set up. It did not make sense on how I was going to be liberated by being co-opted in the very system that sought to oppress me as a Black woman.
Yes, many years of oppression has complicated things and it seems impossible for blacks to create their own means of production. But I trult believe that we must start somewhere. We must reimagine a world where we are proudly black and support all things black in order to reinvent the economic wheel. We talk. We produce theories. We prove ourselves and and and... But we must also put our money where our mouths and theories are. This is why we fight each and every single day. It was not normal to Biko then and it is not normal for us today that "a minority should impose an entire system of values on an indigenous people". However we want to view the imposed system. Different name, same soul. Being co-opted for me almost feels like being part of Nusas, where there will always be a white majority fronting to be progressive at your requests. I personally am tired of being a subject of study and rescue. A subject that is not imagined upon to have their own thought patterns. I do criticize the narrative that excludes women and continually put men in the forefront.
On 9 September 2016, University of South Africa in partnership with the Steve Biko foundation held a memorial lecture in honour of the memory of Bantu Steve Biko. Professor Angela Davis, political activist and scholar, delivered the 2016 lecture. For some of us, attending the lecture was an act of self care. For some, not so much. A Twitter acquaintance sent me a DM and said "looks like Ms Davis went on a feminist rant than honour the legend she was meant to honour". If one is well versed with the works of Davis, one would know why she took the angle that she took. She was also very clear from the onset, what was expected of her.
On 12 September, as we honoured the memory of Biko, Aphelele Somi and I unpacked Davis' lecture. Click on link below for the conversation between Aphelele and I.
She urged us to never stop dreaming for an imagined future where we will be free. I am personally tired but I heed to the call and continue dreaming. One day we will be free.