Biko - Cry Freedom
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Biko - Cry Freedom

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  682 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Subjected to 22 hours of interrogation, torture and beating by South African police on September 6, 1977, Steve Biko died six days later. Donald Woods, Biko's close friend and a leading white South African newspaper editor, exposed the murder helping to ignite the black revolution.
ebook, 289 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1978)
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Rowena
I heard a lot about Steve Biko growing up. I had never imagined him being so young when he was murdered (only 30 years old) because of all he had achieved and how inspirational he was, and still is.

This is perhaps the first biography I have read which was written by a friend of the subject. Donald Wood is a very courageous white South African who became one of Biko's closest friend and was subsequently involved in South Africa's struggle against Apartheid. What I admired about Wood was the fact...more
Kathleen
Do not watch "Cry Freedom" before reading this book if you are expecting it to be like the movie. Same subject matter, but Cry Freedom is about getting the book itself out of the country.

Although a little bit boring in spots, it very much explains the struggles that those men of color in South Africa had to go through to have thier messages heard.

The moral of the story: Do not let these deaths be in vain--all should take lessons from the struggles of the Blacks in South Africa and remember that...more
Amelia
Woods provides a complex and detailed portrait of Steve Biko, a leader of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa during the period of apartheid, and conveys the extent of the oppression instituted by the South African government on blacks and outspoken whites. Though Woods does not appear to shy away from his or Biko's negative attributes, it is very easy to identify and sympathize with both and find oneself outraged at the way Biko's life was cut short.
jay
I watched the movie first then read the book. Horrific experiences. Really nasty stuff happened to this young man in his quest to free his people. The author also made loads of sacrifices.
TawanaMarie
I read this book when I was in the 3rd grade. This one of the two books my mom gave to me the other one was Roots.
Trisha
Inhoud:
Op 6 september 1977 werd de leider van de Zwarte Bewustwordingsbeweging Steve Biko door de Zuidafrikaanse veiligheidspolitie gevangengenomen.Hij werd 22 uur verhoord,gemarteld en geslagen en overleed zes dagen later aan een fatale hersenbeschadiging. Het boek vertelt het verhaal over Steve Biko en zijn strijd.

'Ik ben ervan overtuigd,' zegt Donald Woods tien jaar later,' dat niemand aan de top Steves dood wilde. Daarvoor was hij te bekend en te zeer martelaar voor het herstel van de zwar...more
Theophilus (Theo)
Steven Biko, a black student activist in South Africa during the 1970s, was murdered while in custody of the South African police, who claimed it ws suicide. Apparently he beat himself so badly that he died from his injuries. Donald Woods, a white South African journalist, found a story he could not let go, even at the insistence of the S.A. government. He personally knew Biko and resolved to tell the true story of what happened. With his own family the victim of police intimidation and threats,...more
BeeQuiet
Having read the 1987 version of this book I felt I was viewing a snapshot of a very particular time. At the time of the printing of this edition, South Africa was in a state of turmoil, and as Donald Woods correctly pointed out, the question was not if violence would increase, but when.

This book is written in a rather propagandist time, but unusually I do say this as a means of levelling criticism. Instead, the desperation of Woods to convince the international community that it was of incredibl...more
Thom Dunn
from the back cover: "Bantu Stephen Biko, perhaps the most important Black leader to have emerged in South Africa, was tortured and killed by the Security Police in September, 1977. This book. written in defiance of a banning order by Biko's close friend, Donald Woods, the white newspaper editor who led the protests after his death, offers a remarkable personal and political portrait of the murdered leader. It includes a concise history of South Africa's racial policies and closes with a ringing...more
EuGene Byrd
I'm almost finished reading this book, and when I'm not reading it, I'm thinking about the things I've read. I recommend this book to everyone, and I think it is a must read for every Black person. Steve Biko was killed simply because he tried to raise 'Black consciousness' in South Africa. His writings are still relevant today, as I believe that we still need to raise our 'Black consciousness' here in the US.

These are OUR heroes, learn about them and pass what you have learned to your kids and...more
Nick
A fascinating condemnation of pre-apartheid South Africa, based on the author's discussions and friendship with Stephen Biko. Biko was eventually murdered by the S. African Security Police, and the author was forced to flee the country for demanding an investigation. I am amazed that so many like Biko sought a peaceful path to freedom despite the violent oppression they faced.
Ona
I don't generally like biography as a genre, but this book is particularly bad. The first third is about Woods, the author, not Biko, the subject. A considerable amount of the remainder is simply direct legal transcripts from the inquest into Biko's death. Everyone should read about Biko and his significance in South African history & politics, but this is NOT the go to book.
Leila
First hand account from the white journalist who covered Biko's movement and had to flee South Africa with the manuscript of this book. As with all autobiographies, the hero comes off a little too virtuous to be true, but it's it's a good chronicle of how Biko became Biko and a must read for understanding modern South African politics.
Buffy Weill-greenberg
i read the version released in 1987 -- before mandela was released, before apartheid fell... great read, especially in light of the revolution taken place in south africa since the book's release. also interesting to learn the truth about biko's murder revealed post-apartheid.
Ryan Mishap
Not so much a biography as it is Woods' memoir and an indictment of apartheid South Africa. I put this in on the "history" shelf as well--at the time it wasn't, but it is worth looking back at this book and others like it, to get a sense of how things were.
Nancy
I loved this book and I saw the movie Cry Freedom at least 5 times. The story is difficult and raw but a great read to understand the politics and resistance to racism and classism in South Africa during the Apartheid era.

Essential reading.
Rachel
Aug 24, 2007 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: South African studies readers; postcolonial readers; prison lit. readers; resistance lit. readers
Very engaging, realistic portrayal of resistance against Apartheid and the imprisonment of resistance leaders. Shows collusion among Apartheid-era South African leaders with the U.S. and Israel in intelligence, interrogation, and torture techniques.
Melinda
I didn't know much about Biko when I found this book. At the time I had discovered my hero, Nelson Mandela. I was searching for books about him when my friend handed me this book.
I am so thankful that I decided to buy this book.
Brian
Story of a revolutionary and inspirational South African leader in the fight against Apartheid. Also a phenominal movie with Denzel Washington and Kevin Kline, though I forgot what that was called.
Lori
Mar 13, 2007 Lori rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone & everyone
The Afrikaan Nationalist government of South Africa used the terms "hunger strike" and "suicide" as a euphemism for apartheidic murder when they detained men like Steve Biko for the last time...
Amber
Fascinating look into the journey of white journalist Donald Woods as he meets activist Steven Biko in South African and begins his political education.
Bieke
Nederlandse uitvoering.
M
The amazing story of Steve Biko and life in South Africa at the height of Apartheid. A must read for anyone interested in Southern Africa.
Amy  Brown
Jan 21, 2009 Amy Brown marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
STILL didn't finish it. **sigh*** - I did learn, however, that I can't put down the damn Twilight series!
Barb
stephen biko was an icon..if you know nothing about south africa, you must read this
Becki
An excellent example of a book being a power for good and of changing the world.
Melissa Saporito
Moving, frightening and a must read for all people on this earth with a conscience.
Jenncouttas
This book made me so angry. I cannot believe the injustice.
Bláithín
One of the most powerful books I ever read. Incredibly sad
Marie
Excellent book. I recommend for everyone to read.
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Donald Woods was editor-in-chief of the Daily Dispatch, a newspaper in South Africa. While editor, he integrated the editorial staff (in direct opposition to apartheid) and took up an anti-apartheid stance. However, Woods was originally opposed also to the Black Consciousness Movement, and in particular Steve Biko; they became friends, and Woods was put under ban after the Soweto Uprising.
Woods an...more
More about Donald Woods...
Asking For Trouble: The Autobiography Of A Banned Journalist South African Dispatches: Letters To My Countrymen Apartheid Rainbow Nation Revisited: South Africa's Decade of Democracy Filming with Attenborough: The Making of Cry Freedom

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