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Steve Biko

Decolonial Meditations of Black Consciousness

Tendayi Sithole

Moving away from the domain of commemorative, iconicity, monumentalization, and memorialization, Sithole uses Steve Biko's meditations as a discursive intervention to understand black subjectivity. The epistemological shift of this book is not to be bogged down by the cataloging of events, something that is popular in the literature of Steve Biko and Black Consciousness. Rather, a theoretical imagination and conceptual invention is engaged upon in order to situate Biko within the existential repertoire of blackness as a site of subjectivity and not the object of study. The theoretical imagination and conceptual invention fosters an interpretive approach and an ongoing critique that cannot reach any epistemic closure. This is what decolonial meditations are all about, opening up new vistas of thought and new modes of critique informed by epistemic breaks from “empirical absolutism” that reduce Biko to an epistemic catalogue. It is in Steve Biko: Decolonial Meditations of Black Consciousness that the black subject is engaged not only in the politics of criticism for its own sake, but philosophy of existence. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 224Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-1818-5 • Hardback • July 2016 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-1820-8 • Paperback • May 2017 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-1-4985-1819-2 • eBook • July 2016 • $84.99 • (£54.95)
Tendayi Sithole is senior lecturer at the Department of Political Sciences, University of South Africa.
Introduction: Biko’s Contested Subjectivities
Chapter 1: Biko: A Decolonial Philosopher
Chapter 2: The Existential Scandal of Antiblack Racism
Chapter 3: The Mask of Bad Faith
Chapter 4: The Colonial State: The Freedom Charter and the Modicum of Freedom
Chapter 5: The Racist State, the Law, and its Outlawed
Chapter 6: Biko and the
Problématique of Death
Coda: Charting the Terrains of the De-colonial Turn
Sithole's critical decolonial foray into the liberatory ideas of Steve Biko is pioneering and refreshing in many ways. Biko is neither reduced to a simple shrine to be worshiped nor a hagiography to be celebrated. Through Sithole's sharp analysis, Biko is rightfully given a place in the burgeoning pantheon of black liberatory philosophies.
Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, author of "The Decolonial Mandela: Peace, Justice and the Politics of Life"

This book is a profound ground-breaking account of Biko’s philosophy from a decolonial epistemic perspective hitherto unheard of. It is testimony to the relevance and ever growing re-emergence of Biko and the Black Consciousness philosophy in a country still suffering from antiblack racism, Nelson Mandela’s efforts at racial reconciliation notwithstanding. Sithole’s book is therefore a must-read for anyone trying to understand the confluence of existentialism and decolonial theory in Biko’s philosophy of Black subjectivity in an antiblack society.
Mabogo Percy More, University of KwaZulu-Natal