Collaboration and Debate in the ‘Durban Moment’: Steve Biko, Richard Turner and the politics of Black Consciousness, 1970-1974

Steve Biko.
Steve Biko.

This essay by Ian Macqueen examines the philosophical and political contributions by Rick Turner and Steven Biko to the 'Durban moment' - the period in which the city of Durban became the centre of radical political innovation in the anti-apartheid struggle.

Submitted by red jack on December 3, 2016

Turner met Biko in Durban in 1970.8 He had been newly appointed to his first permanent post as lecturer in the department of political science at the University of Natal, Howard College campus. Biko was still studying for his medical degree at the University of Natal Medical School Non-European section (UNNE).9 Durban had become the de facto headquarters of the black student organisation, the South African Students’ Organisation (SASO), with Biko’s room in the Alan Taylor residence functioning for a time as the national office. Turner came to the University of Natal as someone with a growing reputation for close involvement in student politics, an incisive intellect, and as an individual who possessed a clarity of vision that was sorely needed. Among activists in the Durban scene, Biko and Turner stood most prominent in their breadth and force of intellect.