Steve Biko Garden of Rememberance, East London
Bantu Steven Biko, one of the most recognised leaders of the Black Consciousness Movement, is regarded as one of the greatest martyrs of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa.
Born in the township of Ginsberg just outside King William’s Town, Steve Biko was to die whilst in police custody in 1977, after being held for 26 days under the Terrorism Act. In 1997 when it was proposed that a new tombstone be erected at the grave of Steve Biko by the local municipality, his family requested that the entire graveyard be upgraded and maintained instead in recognition of the contribution of other members of his community in the fight against apartheid. It became known as the Steve Biko Garden of Rememberance, and includes graves of activists like Griffiths and Victoria Mxenge - both human rights lawyers - alongside victims of the Bisho Massacre, which took place when Ciskei (a former homeland of South Africa) troops opened fire on an ANC march heading towards Bisho.
Steve Biko held that black people should lead the fight against apartheid and his movement, which became prominent during the 1970s, believed that political freedom would be possible only when blacks stopped feeling inferior to whites. Biko was banned by the apartheid government in 1973 and he found himself restricted to his hometown and prevented from producing any written material or saying anything about black consciousness.
The Steven Biko Garden of Rememberance, formerly known as the Ginsberg cemetery, lies at the entrance to King Williams Town in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
To learn more about Steve Biko, visit the Foundation website at: Steve Biko Foundation.
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destinations / attractions in the eastern cape