December 18: Stephen Bantu Biko is born in Tylden, in the Eastern Cape, to Mzimgayi and Alice Nokuzola Biko.
Biko's father dies.
Completes his high school education at Mariannhill, a Roman Catholic mission school in KwaZulu-Natal.
Enrols as a medical student at the University of Natal, Non-European section in Wentworth, Durban.
Joins the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS), a nonracial student body dominated by whites.
Grows frustrated with NUSAS's reluctance to adopt a more radical stance.
Together with black students breaks away from NUSAS. Forms the black South African Students’ Organisation (SASO) at Turfloop in Limpopo and is elected President. SASO's primary mission is to address the inferiority complex of black students.
Biko begins to write prolifically in the SASO newsletter under the pseudonym Frank Talk.
Marries Nontsikelelo (Ntsiki) Mashalaba.
Focuses increasingly on activism and neglects his studies. Is finally expelled from the university.
Begins to work with the Black Community Programmes (BCP) in Durban. The BCP addresses the problems of black workers, whose unions are not recognised by the government.
Biko and his fellow activists see the need for a Black Consciousness organisation that will operate beyond university campuses.
The Black People's Convention (BPC) is launched.
The government bans Biko for five years, prohibiting him from speaking in public, writing for publication or travelling. He is restricted to King William's Town in the Eastern Cape
Despite being banned, he helps create various grassroots projects including the Zanempilo Clinic.
Forms the Zimele Trust Fund (for the support of ex-political prisoners) and the Ginsberg Educational Trust. Is detained for 137 days and released without being charged.
The South African Students’ Movement, influenced by the BCM, is formed at high schools throughout the country.
June 16: Students launch protests against the imposition of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction in black schools. The result is the ‘Soweto uprisings’, which spread throughout the country.
Biko is elected Honorary President of the BPC
He is a key defence witness in the Saso/BPC trial, which runs from 31 January 1975 to 21 December 1976. The nine trialists are sentenced to long jail terms on Robben Island.
Biko is arrested in March, detained and released.