To the Black Intellectual

One of the important lessons from the example of Biko and his colleagues is their recognition that as black students, their most important mission and obligation was to articulate the needs and aspirations of the black community. They were not to be intellectuals so as to appease their own personal needs. They were to become assets for the black nation and use all of their intellectual gains and abilities to serve the black community.

We need this type of mentality today, more than ever. The current conditions have instead produced black intellectuals that seek only to run as far away from the black conditions as possible and never return. To further explain this, Cheikh Anta Diop states that;
“A climate of alienation has a profound effect on the Black personality, particularly on the educated Black, who has the opportunity to see how the rest of the world regards him and his people. It often happens that the Black intellectual thus loses confidence in his own potential and that of his race. Often the effect is so crushing that some Blacks, having evidence to the contrary, still find it hard to accept the fact we really were the first to civilize the world.”

Our solution to this should be a clear understanding that our education is useless if it doesn’t contribute to the formulation of a new way of thinking which is unpolluted by ideas of the rainbow nation but is rooted in the black struggle.

SASO’s Black Students Manifesto published in 1975 declares that;
A. We black students are:

1. an integral part of the black oppressed community before we are students coming out of and studying under the oppressive restrictions of a racist education;

2. committed to a more disciplined involvement in the intellectual and physical world and to the consistent search of the black truth;

Whether in medicine, research, accounting, journalism or marketing, our contributions can be great in the betterment of the black condition and it is our responsibility to see to the attainment of this.

This is how you go Back to Consciousness!

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