The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.

— Steven Biko

The most practical Steven Biko quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

Being black is not a matter of pigmentation - being black is a reflection of a mental attitude.


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.


You are either alive and proud or you are dead, and when you are dead, you can't care anyway.


I would like to remind the black ministry and indeed all black people that God is not in the habit of coming down from heaven to solve people's problems on earth.


So as a prelude whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realise that they are also human, not inferior.


Merely by describing yourself as black you have started on a road towards emancipation, you have committed yourself to fight against all forces that seek to use your blackness as a stamp that marks you out as a subservient being.


It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die.


What Black Consciousness seeks to do is to produce real black people who do not regard themselves as appendages to white society. We do not need to apologise for this because it is true that the white systems have produced through the world a number of people who are not aware that they too are people.


The great powers of the world may have done wonders in giving the world an industrial and military look but the great gift still has to come from Africa - giving the world a more human face.


We must realise that prophetic cry of black students: Black man you are on your own!


When you say 'Black is beautiful' you are saying, 'Man you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being'.


A people without a positive history is like a vehicle without an engine.


About Steven Biko

Quotes 54 sayings
Nationality South African
Profession Activist
Birthday October 16

I am against the fact that a settler minority should impose an entire system of values on an indigenous people.


Black Consciousness therefore takes cognizance of the deliberateness of God's plan in creating Black people black.


WOMEN must be at the forefront of nation-building to bring the South African citizenry together and, therefore, develop a whole new ethos of human co-existence


The myth of integration as propounded under the banner of the liberal ideology must be cracked because it makes people believe that something is being achieved when in reality the artificially integrated circles are a soporfic to the blacks while salving the consciences of the few guilt-stricken whites.


It becomes more necessary to see the truth as it is if you realize that the only vehicle for change are these people who have lost their personality.


In time, we shall be in a position to bestow on South Africa the greatest possible gift - a more human face.


Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time.


We do not want to be reminded that it is we, the indigenous people, who are poor and exploited in the land of our birth. These are concepts which the Black Consciousness approach wishes to eradicate from the black man's mind before our society is driven to chaos by irresponsible people from Coca-cola and hamburger cultural backgrounds.


To a large extent the evil-doers have succeeded in producing at the output end of their machine a kind of black man who is man only in form. This is the extent to which the process of dehumanization has advanced.


Black Consciousness is in essence the realization by the black man of the need to rally together with his brothers around the cause of their oppression.


This is white man's integration, an integration based on exploitative values


We believe it is the duty of the vanguard political movement which brings change to educate people's outlook


Apartheid - both petty and grand - is obviously evil.


Part of the approach envisaged in bringing about Black Consciousness has to be directed to the past, to seek to rewrite the history of the black man and to produce in it the heroes who form the core of the African background


We are experiencing new problems every day and whatever we do adds to the richness of our cultural heritage as long as it has man as its centre


Any warning normally implies, even if it is tacit, that there should be changes


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 logic behind white domination is to prepare the black man for the subservient role in this country.


In all fields black consciousness seeks to talk to the black man in a language that is his own


Sure there are a few good whites just as much as there are a few bad Blacks.

However what we are concerned here with is group attitudes and group politics. The exception does not make a lie or the rule - it merely substantiates it.


Change the way people think and things will never be the same


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.


At the time of his death, Biko had a wife and three children for which he left a letter that stated in one part: “I've devoted my life to see equality for blacks, and at the same time, I've denied the needs of my family. Please understand that I take these actions, not out of selfishness or arrogance, but to preserve a South Africa worth living in for blacks and whites.


We believe in the inherent goodness of man.


The blacks are tired of standing at the touchlines to witness a game that they should be playing. They want to do things for themselves and all by themselves.


People must be aware of their problems in a realistic way.

They must be able to analyse their problems and to work out common solutions. In other words a community is easily divided when their perception of the same thing is different


The oneness of community for instance is at the heart of our culture.


A community is easily divide when their perception of the same thing is different


If one is free at heart, no man-made chains can bind one to servitude.


Tradition has it that whenever a group of people has tasted the lovely fruits of wealth, security and prestige it begins to find it more comfortable to believe in the obvious lie and accept that it alone is entitled to privilege.


We regard our living together not as an unfortunate mishap warranting endless competition among us but as a deliberate act of God to make us a community of brothers and sisters jointly involved in the quest for a composite answer to the varied problems of life. Hence in all we do we always place man first and hence all our action is usually joint community oriented action rather than the individualism.


Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time. Its essence is the realisation by the black man of the need to rally together with his brothers around the cause of their oppression - the blackness of their skin - and to operate as a group to rid themselves of the shackles that bind them to perpetual servitude.


We have set out on a quest for true humanity, and somewhere on the distant horizon we can see the glittering prize. Let us march forth with courage and determination, drawing strength from our common plight and our brotherhood [and sisterhood]. In time we shall be in a position to bestow upon South Africa the greatest gift possible--a more human face


I think the central theme about black society is that it has got elements of a defeated society


The wealth of the country must eventually be enjoyed by people of the country


The essence of politics is to direct oneself to the group which wields power


Black man, you are on your own.