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A ban on open-air gatherings was extended to March 1978.The outrage of the US Congress at Biko’s death became evident when 128 of its members from both the Republican and Democratic parties sent a letter to the government urging that it allow an international team to go to South Africa to examine laws relating to political prisoners and detention.
Writing in an AZAPO newsletter in 1981 Quraish Patel described Black Consciousness as “a negation of white superiority, not a negation of whites as people.
John Alan and Lou Turner, writing after Biko’s death observed that “what is powerful and new about Biko’s ideas is that he always centers the possibility for change within the subjectivity of the oppressed person, and not simply within the South African economy or the hierarchy of the system”[iii] .
Unlike the race based construction of identity that typified apartheid, Black Consciousness defined Black on the basis of political and socio-economic factors.
On 12 September 1977 the Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko died while in the custody of security police.
The period leading up to his death, beginning with the June 1976 unrest, had seen some of the most turbulent events in South African history, the first signs that the Apartheid regime would not be able to maintain its oppressive rule without massive resistance.