Today’s Google doodle commemorates the legacy of South Africa’s Steve Biko, the anti-apartheid activist who founded the Black Consciousness Movement.
Born in on this date in 1946 in Ginsberg, South Africa, Biko would have turned 70 today. It was during his time as a medical school student that Biko founded the Black Consciousness Movement to fight apartheid policies, and empower black South Africans to take pride in their racial identities and cultural heritage.
In February of 1973, the pro-apartheid government banned Biko for anti-apartheid activism. Under this ban, Biko wasn’t allowed to speak to more than one person at a time, was forbidden to speak in public and to the media, and was forced to stay in a single district. In spite of this, Biko continued to form grassroots organizations and organize protests, including the Soweto Uprising in June of 1976.
Leading to search results for “Steve Biko,” the doodle features the young Biko among his many supporters.
Biko’s life was cut short when he was brutally beaten to death by South African police officers after being arrested at a police roadblock in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Biko died in September of 1977, three months before his 31st birthday.
“On the 70th anniversary of Biko’s birth, we remember his courage and the important legacy he left behind,” writes Google, “Thank you, Steve Biko, for dedicating your life to the pursuit of equality for all.”