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Whites Cannot Be Black

A Bikoist Challenge to Professor Xolela Mangcu

Keolebogile Mbebe

claim that a white person can transcend race and become a black person. In this article I argue that Mangcu has misinterpreted Biko, whose writings in his book of collected essays, I Write What I Like , would support the claim that whites cannot, in

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Imagining Utopia in an Unfree World

Rick Turner on Morality, Inequality and Existentialism

Mary Ryan

served as a foundation for his friendship with the Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko. Although both were compelled by Sartre’s ideas, Biko found Sartre’s work on the concepts of freedom and responsibility especially stimulating ( More 2008: 48

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South African Remains

E. P. Thompson, Biko, and the Limits of The Making of the English Working Class

Isabel Hofmeyr

E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class exercised a substantial influence on the South African academy and acted as a key shaper of a “history from below” movement in the 1980s. While Thompson's influence in South Africa has been celebrated, the limits of his circulation are less frequently explored. This article takes on this task by placing The Making alongside Steve Biko's I Write What I Like. Biko was a major figure in the emergence of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). The article compares the interlinked formations of which the two texts formed a part—the BCM displaced white radical intellectuals, who retreated into class analysis as an analytical alternative to race. The article also examines specific copies of the two titles found in South African libraries and uses the different patterns of marginalia as a way of tracing the individual impacts of the two texts.

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Blackout

Freedom, without Power

Christopher Allsobrook

This article attributes the conception of 'freedom-without-power' which dominates contemporary Western political philosophy to a reification of social agency that mystifies contexts of human capacities and achievements. It suggests that Plato's analogy between the structure of the soul and the polis shows how freedom is a consequence, rather than a condition, of political relations, mediated by inter-subjective contestation. From this basis, the article draws on the work of Raymond Geuss to argue against pre-political ethical frameworks in political philosophy, in favour of a more contextually sensitive, self-critical approach to ethics. Such reciprocal ethical-political integration addresses problems of ideological complicity that may arise if freedom is discretely abstracted from history and power in political philosophy. Finally, the article roughly reconstructs a critical account of African identity from writings of Steven Biko to illuminate symptoms of 'meritocratic apartheid' in South Africa today which Thad Metz's influential pre-political conception of ubuntu obscures, by abstracting the figure of African personhood from politically significant historical conditions.

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Class versus Nation

A History of Richard Turner’s Eclipse and Resurgence

Ian Macqueen

, Communist Party and Indian Congress members, and the new activists of the Black Consciousness movement, most prominent among them the young medical student, Stephen Bantu Biko, at that stage the president of SASO ( Badsha 2014 ). Both Turner and Biko were

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Raphael de Kadt

infamously said that the death in custody of the Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko left him ‘cold’, saw Turner ‘the most dangerous man in South Africa’. These very words were said to the then German Ambassador, who pleaded with Mr. Kruger to permit

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Contested Memory

Retrieving the Africanist (Liberatory) Conception of Non-racialism

Ndumiso Dladla

prevailing order. In the context of apartheid South Africa, Steve Biko most usefully described liberals as ‘that bunch of do-gooders that goes under all sorts of names – liberals, leftists etc. These are people who argue they are not responsible for white

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Editorial

Some Senses of Pan-Africanism from the South

Christopher Allsobrook

principles haunt South Africa forty years after Biko’s death. With political independence, despite the sterling example of early nationalist leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere, relations between African Nationalism and Pan-Africanism have

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Peter Hudson

wide array of community-based initiatives, into his frequent engagements with the Black Consciousness Movement and with Steve Biko himself. I was never privy to their late-night discussions, but I was there – and Steve Biko sometimes slept over (I was

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Lauren Marx

. Biko: a life . London and New York : I.B.Tauris . McCusker , B. , W.G. Moseley and M. Ramutsindela . 2016 . Land reform in South Africa: an uneven transformation . London : Rowman & Littlefield . Mdluli , D.Z. 2013 . Robben Island