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Featured articleSteve Biko is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 12, 2017.
Article milestones
June 22, 2017Good article nomineeListed
August 20, 2017Featured article candidatePromoted
On this day...Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on September 12, 2004, September 12, 2005, September 12, 2006, September 12, 2015, September 12, 2018, September 12, 2020, September 12, 2022, and September 12, 2023.
Current status: Featured article

About the photo


The main photo here is fair use. It should be noted that Wikipedia prohibits fair use photos from press agencies that would allow the use of such photos for money, because then it violates the policy concerning commercial use. The main photo appears to be a derivative of this Getty images photograph. It may very well have to be changed in order to comply with the fair use standards. I don't mention this to be nit-picky, I was scoping this to see if I wanted to initiated the GA review but I'd rather this get handled first. -Indy beetle (talk) 17:43, 30 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I just say this message, Indy beetle, and thanks for raising this issue. I will try to deal with it in the next few days. Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:40, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I've switched the image to File:Steve Biko Photograph.jpg, which is not a copyright free image either, although none of the available images are (unfortunately). It is, however, a clearer and (in my opinion) better image for the infobox. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:16, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Prose edits/questions


I would suggest an addition in the commemoration section. Something along the lines of "The main building of the University of Mancheter Students' Union (UK) is named the Steve Biko Building — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:29, 3 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

MBO, I'm probably going to make a string of prose changes, mostly to what seems more readable to me; feel free to quibble/revert if you disagree. Also, I will dump some questions here as and when I come across them; I have access to some of the sources, but not all. Vanamonde (talk) 07:36, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

  • Do we know how Biko's father went from being a policemen to a clerk?
  • Mangcu (p. 88) simply says that he resigned from the police force and briefly worked at the Fort Cox Agricultural College before becoming a clerk in the Native Affairs office. I did not really think that the resignation and college work was relevant enough for inclusion in this article, particularly given that Biko's father did not appear to play a central role in Biko's own life. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:57, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks. I've gone with the very brief "after resigning from the police force..." which is enough to quell any raised eyebrows.
  • "Bantu means people" I've been trying to figure out whether this is true in all Bantu languages, or just in Xhosa, or something else, but struggling a bit at the moment. The original source is unhelpful.
  • I'm in the same boat here. We could always trim out the "Bantu means people" bit? Instead we could have something like "Biko interpreted his given name, "Bantu", in terms of the saying..."? Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:02, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • On the balance I'd say we should leave it in, since multiple sources mention it; we can just remain on the lookout for other sources.
  • Woods and Mangcu appear to be at odds over the "moderation" of NUSAS; Woods says many of their leaders had been arrested and prosecuted in past years. Worth mentioning, you think?
  • If I understand correctly, NUSAS went in a more radical direction after the split with SASO. As with most student union organisations, the turnover of leadership was swift and thus the general ideological direction of the group changed rapidly. I did not really want to go into too much detail on NUSAS after Biko had departed from it (in part because the section about SASO and NUSAS is already quite lengthy and also because I did not think it particularly relevant). However, if you have a proposed sentence or something that you would be interested in adding then I would certainly be up for discussing it. Midnightblueowl (talk) 12:06, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Fair enough. I don't think the picture of NUSAS is unfair at the moment, so I'll drop this.
  • Dorian Lynskey argues that Biko was the first anti-apartheid activist to gain widespread attention outside SA; do you know if this is a view supported by his biographers? I'll look for sources as well.
  • As far as I am aware, this may well be true (Mandela did not really gain substantial levels of international fame until the 1980s), however I have not come across this claim in any of the biographies. Midnightblueowl (talk) 23:05, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • "Although NUSAS officially opposed apartheid, it moderated its opposition in order to maintain the support of conservative white students" This seems a trifle vague to me, and I haven't access to the source. What does Mangcu say here?
  • Mangcu says: "[NUSAS] was essentially a student body led by privileged white students from elite universities such as Wits, UCT and Natal. Its opposition to apartheid was tempered by the desire to maintain a strong presence among conservative white students." Not hugely helpful if we want further detail. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:53, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Fair enough.
  • "The government regarded Black Consciousness as a threat." Do you have this source (Hadfield)? This statement is a bit bald. I think it would be more helpful if we include the time period somehow.
  • True. I've added a "by 1973", which makes it slightly more readable.
  • I'd like to remove the link to "reverse racism", as in my view it links to a term and a controversy with little relevance to South Africa. Thoughts?
  • Unfortunately not—I have not seen any of the sources mention a particular year. However, it does seem clear that it happened while Biko was banned, which is why I included it at that juncture of the article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:51, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • More generic question to which I have searched for and not received a satisfactory answer; why is "Coloured" capitalized, but "white" and "black" not? Seems strange, does it not? Vanamonde (talk) 17:06, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm not really sure why the convention is as it is... perhaps because "Coloured" is used alongside "African", "European", and "Asian" in many Southern African contexts and thus copies their capitalisation? Midnightblueowl (talk) 19:07, 10 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • MBO I've been through the prose now: I think you can go ahead and nominate whenever you are ready. FYI at FAC I should be able to respond to things involving Hill, Wilson, Lynskey, Woods, and a couple of others, but some sources, like Mangcu and Hadfield, I will have to leave entirely to you. Regards, Vanamonde (talk) 04:30, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Vanamonde93 - Are you okay if I go ahead and start the FAC? Midnightblueowl (talk) 15:16, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

By all means, I think your latest edits addressed some of the material I would have added myself, so quite happy to go for it. Full warning, my participation here is going to be limited (not non-existent, but limited) until approximately the 21st of July. Given that an average FAC takes more than a month, though, that's not reason to delay. Vanamonde (talk) 16:39, 11 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • MBO, I'm wondering if Gabriel's song is worth a mention in the lead, given the role it had in making him a known figure in the west. I'm still debating this, though. Vanamonde (talk) 04:17, 30 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yeah I think you're right. I looked it over again after adding the material to the lead, and I think it's fine as is. I do think, though, that the lead needs to mention the fact that his death made him well known. Vanamonde (talk) 04:11, 31 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Midnightblueowl: regarding this; I'm fine with your previous structural changes to the lead, but I really did not like this edit; I'd much rather stick with the previous version, which was the earlier prose plus one sentence from me. The issues I had with the new version are threefold; our sources say quite clearly that it was not his writings which made him famous, but his death and its cultural aftermath; that though his legacy is contested, it wasn't his influence over BC that is contested; and that he was the earliest icon, which IMO is important enough to include. If you're concerned over length, I've made a less dramatic trim. Vanamonde (talk) 06:36, 18 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • "He believed that even when well-intentioned, white liberals failed to comprehend the black experience and often acted in a paternalistic manner." - As it stands, the wording is unclear. I'd prefer a more direct form: "He believed that well-intentioned, white liberals failed to comprehend the black experience, and often acted in a paternalistic manner."— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 17 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Seeking consensus on a possible new section


I am wondering what the thoughts are of those who help maintain this article regarding a possible new section covering a belief of Steve Biko. The following is a statement that Steve Biko made to a judge while Biko was on trial for fighting apartheid, "...the term black is normally in association also with negative aspects, in other words you speak of the black market, you speak of the black sheep of the family, you speak of---you know, anything which is supposed to be bad is also considered to be black".[1] Does anyone feel that this belief would be relevant for this article? The modern relevance of this prescient belief can presently (Jan 11, 2018) be seen at: Talk Page (talk) 03:00, 12 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Which is my talk page. Before responding, and I have no comments on the request, editors might wish to note the IP's question "Doug Weller and ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants, do either of you have any objection to having your commentary in this section be published widely?". Doug Weller talk 08:55, 12 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Doug Weller's point about the IP's comments at their Talk Page concern me; it does come across as if they were trying to intimidate other editors, although I accept the possibility that that was never their intention. As for the IP's original point, it needs to be borne in mind that Biko discussed a lot of different subjects in his writings. Giving each and every one a sub-section or section to themselves would be excessive. If Reliable Sources can be found discussing Biko's views on the use of the word "black" in this manner can be found, I certainly see no objection to including a sentence or two on the matter at the appropriate juncture, although an entire section would be undue. Midnightblueowl (talk) 11:21, 12 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Midnightblueowl, you said, "it does come across as if they were trying to intimidate other editors." It is not clear what the intimidation is that you speak of. What is the full nature of the intimidation? (talk) 13:53, 29 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

No, let's start with where you were planning to publish the comments. You're clearly the same editor. Doug Weller talk 16:54, 29 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]


  1. ^ Woods, Donald (1978). Biko. Henry Holt & Company.

Birthplace - three alternatives?


Right now, there is a contradiction about Biko's birthplace in this article and beyond. The box states Ginsberg Location near King Wlliams Town, the text gives Tarkastad. Then there is Tylden, Eastern Cape, where according to that article Biko was born. Outside Wikipedia, there is similar confusion between these three places. Does anyone have reliable sources or other information pertaining to Biko's birthplace? --Vanellus (talk) 20:20, 11 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The infobox claim is not cited, so it should be standardised to duplicate the (properly referenced) claim in the main article body, which states that Biko was born in Tarkastad. As far as the most recently published accounts hold, Tarkastad was indeed his place of birth. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:27, 11 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I've also removed the totally unreferenced claim that is being made on the Tylden article. Perhaps someone mistook it for Tarkastad. Midnightblueowl (talk) 21:31, 11 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not so sure about that, certainly it is unlikely that Tarkastad and Tylden have been mixed up. Google search of "Steve Biko Tylden" gives quite a number of reasonable hits for Tylden as Biko's birthplace, among them the Steve Biko Foundation website and sahistory.org.za. In de:Steve Biko we have given both alternatives without deciding which one is true (which is unsatisfactory, though). --Vanellus (talk) 19:56, 13 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Capitalisation of "Coloured" and "Black"


I see that throughout the article, "black" and "white" as adjectives applied to people are not capitalised, but "Coloured" is. Is there a reason for this? If not, I suggest downcasing the word "Coloured" wherever it's an adjective applied to people. Maproom (talk) 06:35, 12 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Coloured has a specific meaning in South Africa, which is different from the way coloured is used as a race descriptor in the US for example and by not capitalizing it we will perhaps lose that distinction. My feeling is that when we say, "Adam is a black person"; black is working as an adjective, it's simply describing Adam. To say "Buhle is a Coloured" is saying Buhle belongs to the Coloured racial identity group. In principle I am against the overuse of capitals especially for job titles and adjectives, "Clive is the chief executive officer" NOT "Clive is the Chief Executive Officer", and further I'm no fan of Identity politics, but in this case I think we may lose some precision and meaning by not using the capital for Coloureds Wayne Jayes (talk) 07:20, 12 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks – that makes sense. Maproom (talk) 10:34, 12 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, that doesn't make sense. Black and Coloured, or black and coloured. The two describe "racial identity", but are not capitalized. By all means, introduce "coloured" with a link, but capitalizing it is inconsistent. Billyshiverstick (talk) 20:46, 14 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 26 February 2019


Wasn't his name Steve Bantu Biko, instead of Bantu Steve Biko? If that is correct, can we change the name? Jfrommass (talk) 01:41, 26 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done @Jfrommass: Do you have any reliable sources to back that claim up? The ones I have read describe him as "Bantu Steve Biko". Vanamonde (Talk) 04:25, 26 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion


The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 04:41, 2 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

National Socialist


African Nationalist + African Socialist - Does that make him an African National Socialist? -- (talk) 12:45, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

No. Midnightblueowl (talk) 14:17, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 21 May 2020


Add this sentence to the legacy section about songs: A Tribe called Quest paid homage to Biko in the title of their "Steve Biko (Stir it up)" on their album Midnight Marauders. Lilraskalnikov (talk) 13:40, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

 Not done. Please provide a reliable source that supports this addition. Really it should say something about how this song has had some sort of significance, rather than simply existing. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 13:48, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

2020 Revisions


Hi all. If people are wondering, I am just tightening up the lead to make it more powerful, and inclusive of Steve's accomplishments. Wikipedia articles are great, but the final writing can be repetitive and disjointed. Please don't revert my changes in a knee-jerk reaction. Think about what I am trying to accomplish. If you can improve on it, by all means. "Revise, don't revert". I'm a huge Biko fan. Billyshiverstick (talk) 20:42, 14 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

The lede exists in an FA-rated state. Substantial alterations would require consensus at the talk page before being introduced into the article. Midnightblueowl (talk) 09:43, 18 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Pronunciation of Surname


How is the surname pronounced? Does it begin like bee or like bye? Maybe we could add some IPA symbols to the first section. --2001:16B8:189F:9100:B1F0:6CCC:2A1C:41BE (talk) 22:14, 30 May 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Police Commissioner General Hendrik de Wit


I don't think Police Commissioner General Hendrik de Wit has the correct wikilink as it is a botanist not a police commissioner general. (talk) 13:12, 21 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]

The Duncan Innes linked is not the right person.


2001:569:5644:D000:E998:19D:CECD:995F (talk) 06:27, 24 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]



Some disable language.❤ (talk) 08:09, 12 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

History research


Research of history (talk) 15:55, 23 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

What steve biko influenced (talk) 18:29, 21 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Semi-protected edit request on 27 August 2023


"Hendrik de Wit" links to the wiki of the Dutch botanist rather than the South African General. This ought to be changed. Limidawr (talk) 21:30, 27 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

I have removed the link for now. There is no article for the police commissioner. It may warrant a red link. It seems from a quick search that the commissioner's surname was spelt with a double T (de Witt, even though Hill has only one) and that he was commonly known as Hennie eg here and here, so any red link/article should perhaps be Hennie de Witt? JennyOz (talk) 02:37, 28 August 2023 (UTC)[reply]

Steve Monument materials


Can I know that? (talk) 12:45, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]