in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement
which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr
of the anti-apartheid movement. While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being".
The basic tenet of black consciousness is that the black man must reject all value systems that seek to make him a foreigner in the country of his birth and reduce his basic human dignity.
Even today, we are still accused of racism. This is a mistake. We know that all interracial groups in South Africa are relationships in which whites are superior, blacks inferior. So as a prelude whites must be made to realize that they are only human, not superior. Same with blacks. They must be made to realize that they are also human, not inferior.
You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can't care anyway.
It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die.
The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
Apartheid — both petty and grand — is obviously evil. Nothing can justify the arrogant assumption that a clique of foreigners has the right to decide on the lives of a majority.
The system concedes nothing without demand, for it formulates its very method of operation on the basis that the ignorant will learn to know, the child will grow into an adult and therefore demands will begin to be made. It gears itself to resist demands in whatever way it sees fit.
In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift—a more human face.
We must realise that prophetic cry of black students: "Black man you are on your own!"