Lot #153
Steve Biko Typed Letter Signed

Less than a year before his death, Biko is refused an application to visit East London
This lot has closed

Estimate: $4000+


Less than a year before his death, Biko is refused an application to visit East London

South African anti-apartheid activist (1946-1977) at the forefront of the the Black Consciousness Movement during the late 1960s and 1970s, known for popularizing the slogan 'Black Is Beautiful.' He was severely beaten during an interrogation by police and died of his wounds while imprisoned. TLS signed “B. S. Biko,” one page, 6 x 8.5, personal letterhead, December 4, 1976. Letter to the Principal Magistrate of King William's Town, in full: "I would like to make an application to be allowed to visit East London on Friday the 10th of December in order to fulfill an appointment that I have with an attorney Mr. C. Wilken of Zackon, Wilken Van Rensberg & Co. The appointment is in connection with an application that I have made to the firm to do articles with them next year. They require to interview all applicants for this purpose and have thus invited me for that purpose. The appointment will be for 11.00 am on Friday." Biko makes a correction in his own hand, with a secretarial hand adding in red ballpoint, "Application refused. Applicant informed personally." In fine condition, with a light vertical bend, and two file holes to the left edge.

Following apartheid's collapse, Donald Woods, a close friend and biographer of Biko, raised funds to commission a bronze statue of Biko from Naomi Jacobson. It was erected outside the front door of city hall in East London on the Eastern cape, opposite a statue commemorating British soldiers killed in the Second Boer War.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts
  • Dates: #618 - Ended October 13, 2021

This item is Pre-Certified by PSA/DNA
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