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Textual Commentary on Black Souls in White Skins in I Write What I Like by Steve Biko
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Download file to see previous pages Liberalism in the context of apartheid, South Africa refers to advocates for freedom from coercion, discrimination and oppression and equal access to political, social, educational, health and economic opportunities.4 Kee argues that Black Consciousness’s philosophy was founded on Black theology which proposes that God will not solve our problems.5 Biko’s Black Souls in White Skins embodies the concept of self-help as captured by the Black Consciousness Movement and black theology which is a Christian expression and rejection of oppression as experienced by Blacks.6 From Biko’s perspective, White liberalism could not capture this experience and in attempting to do so, White liberals perpetuated the notion that Whites were superior to Blacks and could speak for and on behalf of Blacks.7 Initially President of the South Africa Student Organization (SASO) the movement that organized the Black Consciousness Movement, Biko subsequently became SASO’s Publications’ chairman. The SASO organized programmes which involved training and studies in a number of subjects such as economics, theology, poetry, aesthetics, culture, and politics. The programmes resulted in publications which included Biko’s column, I Write What I Like published under Frank Talk and appeared in SASO’s Newsletter in 1970.8 Black Souls in White Skins was Biko’s first article in his column I Write What I Like.9 Black Souls is a parody of French writer Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin White Masks. Where Fanon challenged the utility and authenticity of Blacks identifying with Whites, Biko challenged the utility and authenticity of Whites identifying with Blacks.10 As was characteristic of the Black Consciousness Movement, Biko’s Black Souls targeted the motives of the White liberals whom he called “people who say that they have black souls wrapped up in white skins.”11 Biko questioned the authenticity of their claim that they sympathized with the “black struggles” against apartheid.12  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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