S7E3: Steve Biko, Black Consciousness and the SASO/BPC Trial
24 Mar 2023
Image Credits: Ekow Duker by Nicolise Harding and Millard Arnold by Frederike von Stackelberg
Ekow Duker asks Millard Arnold about his book The Testimony of Steve Biko. They consider the significance of Biko’s four and a half days on the witness stand in 1976, at the trial of nine student leaders from South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) and the Black People’s Convention (BPC).
Millard also reflects on his early life and education in the US, Ernest Cole’s House of Bondage (1967), his work for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Biko’s legacy.
Ekow Duker is an oil field engineer turned banker turned writer based in Johannesburg. He is a previous board member of PEN SA and the author of four novels: White Wahalla, Dying in New York, The God Who Made Mistakes and Yellowbone.
Millard Arnold has been a lawyer, diplomat, deputy assistant secretary of state, chairman and director of companies, professor of law, author, journalist, poet, actor, artist, prize winning photographer and recipient of the US government’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Foreign Service. He edited The Testimony of Steve Biko (Picador Africa, 2017) and No Fears Expressed: Quotes from Steve Biko (Picador Africa, 2017).
In this episode we stand in solidarity with linguistics scholar and activist Hany Babu. You can read more about his case on PEN International’s site here and listen to an ABC Radio feature on him here.
As tributes, Millard shares his poem “My India” that he wrote for Hany Babu and Ekow reads from Millard’s words in The Testimony of Steve Biko.
Listen to the episode here: