The Black Consciousness Movement

Written by Jen Novelli. Posted in Gorilla Blog.

South Africa, 1960. Police open fire on a group of black protesters killing 69 people. Events are set into motion that begin with a struggle between the black majority and white minority for social and political justice that is sustained for the next 30 years. Then in 1994, the African National Congress gains control and the instituted system of legal racial segregation is eliminated. Anti-apartheid Africa is born.

In times of change, there is always a catalyst that converts the necessary elements into something altogether new. Without the catalyst the reaction would never occur, ideas would grow vacant and energy would loose momentum. For South Africa to rid itself of the damaging Apartheid system, a consuming catalyst would have to emerge. Enter the Black Consciousness Movement.

From the Power of Development: As the government tried to act against this organization or that one, people in many organizations shared the general ideas of the Black Consciousness Movement, and these ideas helped to organize action beyond any specific organizational agenda. If the leader of this group or that one was thrown into prison, nonetheless, more and more black South Africans agreed on the importance of black leadership and active resistance. Partly as a result, the difficult goal of unity in struggle became more and more realized through the late nineteen-seventies and nineteen-eighties.

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