Today In History. The Black Consciousness Movement of Azania is born

12 April 1980


The Black Consciousness Movement of Azania (BCMA) was formed in London on 12 April 1980. The BCMA operated as a sister organisation to AZAPO in exile and grew to establish chapters and offices in Botswana, where Onkgopotse Tiro was assassinated, Zimbabwe, England, the United States of America, Canada, France, Belgium and Germany.

Following the murder of Steve Bantu Biko in detention in 1977, the Azanian People’s Organisation (AZAPO), like the legendary phoenix, emerged from the ashes and cinders of the Black People’s Convention (B.P.C.), South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) and Black Community Programmes (B.C.P.) – some of the black consciousness organisations forming the Black Consciousness Movement – that were banned on Wednesday, 19th October 1977 for their role in the liberation struggle and the June 16, 1976 uprisings.

Formed in April 1978, as a direct successor to the BPC and the founding organisation of the Black Consciousness Movement SASO, AZAPO continued and escalated the mission of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) by propagating Black Consciousness and organising Black people to be a fighting force for their liberation.

Inspired by the principles of the Black Consciousness and organised by AZAPO, Black people increasingly regained their resolve to fight for their rights and formed trade unions and civic organisations that drew the blue print for the conduct of struggles by civil society.

Through AZAPO, Black people in South Africa regained their collective dignity and self-pride.



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