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Friday, January 28, 2011

Steve Biko-A Man You Need To Know

When I left Cote d’Ivoire, so did the African Development Bank. The bank’s headquarters moved from Cote d’Ivoire to Tunisia along with many of my friends whose parents worked for the ADB. So when the people of Tunisia recently took to the streets and demanded, against great odds and possible death, their rights to live decently and with dignity, I knew of Tunisians and cheered them on. I am doing the same for Egypt today. All of this is inspiring.

I was with my grandparents this morning and we were discussing the events in North Africa and my grandmother mentioned that Nelson Mandela had been hospitalized. My grandfather brought up Steve Biko, someone who I had never heard of, and said how he helped to inspire many young South Africans, during the apartheid period, to rise up and demand their rights to live decently and with dignity. Steve Biko was kind of the Malcolm X of South Africa. His contributions are ones that we all should be aware. Coincidentally, I had the opportunity to watch Cry Freedom, a movie about Steve Biko, on this snowy day. ( It’s On Demand/Comcast.) Learning about his Black Consciousness Movement and about the white South Africans who opposed apartheid was eye-opening and inspiring.

Steve Biko is someone who should be on your radar.

Listen again to this remake of Nina Simone’s Young, Gifted and Black. This song is sung by many of southern Africa’s rising young singers. It’s amazing. Here’s to you Steve Biko. And good health to you,

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