South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, a leader of the Black Consciousness Movement, was born Dec. 18, 1946. He would have been 69 years old today. In 1977, he was arrested and brutally murdered in police custody for revolutionary activities against the white regime. Read his life story here. In this edition of “Best of The Beat,” we commemorate the short life of Biko with an extensive playlist of over 100 reggae protest songs from “Musical Apartheid Attack,” a four-hour radio special on KQAK presented by San Francisco DJ Doug Wendt on his “Midnight Dread” show in 1986. The tape of the program was smuggled into South African and distributed underground, thus defying the government’s ban on the political subject matter. In addition, we give you two versions of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko,” a tribute to the martyr, one of the most influential of the multitude of songs that brought worldwide attention to the cruel, deadly apartheid regime before its abdication with the election in 1994 of Nelson Mandela as president.
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MORE ON AFROPOP.ORG: SOUTH AFRICANS CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND LEGACY OF NELSON MANDELA
Steve Biko speaks:
Peter Gabriel – “Biko”
Peter Gabriel with Youssou N’Dour – “Biko” (Live)