I Write What I Like: Selected Writings

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Andre M.
June 9, 2004
Steve Biko's "I Write What I Like" is an excellent look at ta voice who tried to articulate the struggles of his people and to provide workable solutions. The "Frank Talk" articles and his testimony in the court are highlights, but it is also interesting to read the manifesto of the effects of Christianity on African Religion. Very raw stuff of the Malcolm X school. Overall a very moving and inspiring read. Like Ghandhi and his contemporary Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko's writings are those of a revolutionary with a heart.
Sue-Shane Tsomondo
September 18, 2015
Fantastic! This book shows what a remarkable man Steve Biko was. By the time I finished the book I had a deep understanding of what and who the world lost when Steve Biko died. One is left to wonder how different South Africa would be today if he was still alive. In many ways he is still very much alive. I simply wish he had been able to compile/write his own biography because some of the selected writings and speeches are a little repetitive. It is an important book for South Africans and other Africans.
John Erickson
July 15, 2014
awesome collection of speeches and musings by a great activist
CodyforOrange
December 17, 2002
As a clear formulator of a useful, modern, Black Consciousness for South Africans, Biko is unimpeachable - his criticism of liberal whites is fundamentally sound, that a racist system, in its import, taints the actions of everyone who works within the system as racist. Biko is working out the nuts and bolts of his theory of African advancement and affirmation while working on the front lines of the struggle. The intensity of the struggle is captivating, because the risks are great and violence is imminent - but Biko should also be captivating because of what he represents as a modern, critical African intellectual.
Criticizing Biko is hard because he was clearly interested, above all, in changing his own people's view of themselves, and re-instilling their necessary sense of self worth. How important to Biko is the cynicism of liberal whites in the present political culture that blacks "may not be doing a good job leading" (xxii)? Is his preferred, future "non-racial" South Africa something that other black leaders sympathize with? I think that we can link his popularity among young blacks inthe apartheid state with a new will to participate in the struggle. Because Biko was so courageous, it is perhaps a hard to get a clear idea of what he saw as the possible end games to the struggle.
This book is non-rhetorical and pragmatic, and the fact that Biko's conception of, and motivation of countless blacks in South Africa around, the idea of Black Consciousness make what Biko is talking about here successfully revolutionary. At times blisteringly critical of black church leadrs who he beleive have acquiesced to apartheid, at times bravely courteous, as when he is being tried before a coutroom full of whites and white security officials and he maintains his awesome collectedness and cutting wit as he indites THEM for crimes. Biko is an exciting writer, and his influence on men like Mandela, as well as his model for grassroots political empoerment, make him an important theorist on what can and should happen to make a better future in Arica. His energy and creativity are still highly applicable, even in the new South Africa and beyond in 21st Century Africa.
David Cohen
July 5, 2004
It's good to see this book back in print. The apartheid era might seem like the distant past, but it wasn't so long ago that so many people were knee-deep in this issue - and so many South Africans were suffering and dying.
South Africa today could have used a leader like Steve Biko. His writings show him to be a man of great intelligence, and the accompanying essay by Father Stubbs shows Biko to be a leader of great charisma. Read this book and you'll see what the world lost when Biko was slain.