Articles on Black Consciousness

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Nelson Mandela, accompanied by his wife Winnie, walks out of the Victor Verster prison on February 11, 1990. Ulli Michel/Reuters

The Mandela Foundation’s verdict on the Mandela era: it failed …

The foundation founded by Nelson Mandela in 1999 has done a major revision - it has written off most of his reign as comprising "grand symbolic gestures".
Portrait of Miriam Tlali as part of Adrian Steirn’s 21 Icons South Africa project. Date: 15.10.2014. Adrian Steirn/Courtesy of 21 Icons South Africa

Under the influence of … the Black Consciousness novel ‘Amandla’

A South African novel, published in 1980 and dealing with the Soweto student uprising four years earlier, still provides lessons for students today.
Students want colonial symbols, such as this statue of Cecil John Rhodes, gone from their universities. EPA/Nic Bothma

Decolonising universities isn’t an easy process – but it has to happen

Calls for the decolonisation of countries, institutions, the mind and of knowledge are not new. In South Africa, these changes are crucial and long overdue. But they must be carefully thought through.
Journalists Thami Mazwai, left, and Jon Qwelane before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s special hearing on the media. They accused the white-owned press of colluding with apartheid. Reuters

Media feel pressure as divisions widen on the role of journalists in South Africa

South Africa seems more divided than ever on the media, as the governing ANC revives plans for a dreaded tribunal many fear would muzzle the press.
South Africa is far from being the non-racial, classless society envisaged by 1970s activists. Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

How the failed ideals of 1970s activists haunt post-apartheid South Africa

The egalitarian society envisioned by political activists and thinkers Rick Turner and Steve Biko has not been realised. But, they continue to inspire critiques of post-apartheid South Africa.
Black students at University of Stellenbosch protest against the institutions’s language policy they say discriminates against them by favouring Afrikaans. Times Media/Adrian de Kock

Why Biko’s Black Consciousness philosophy resonates with youth today

Black youth are grappling with the question of the meaning of freedom in post-apartheid South Africa. They seek an antidote to their reality wherein blackness continues to be mocked and marginalised.

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