Our enslaved ancestors were ACTIVE agents of their own liberation. Some chose education, escape, revolt, suicide, breaking tools, work slowdowns and other forms of resistance.
My Grandparents’ generation boycotted, marched, made legal challenges, wrote and spoke against injustice, created organizations, etc.
My parents’ generation demonstrated, created Freedom Schools, started community patrols, educated, built independent institutions, fought to build a Black nation, etc. Some people throughout these generations were reformist, others were revolutionary, and some did nothing.
While there is always room to debate methods, let us not become part of the “do nothing” group. Even an abbreviated study of the past will demonstrate that we resisted our oppression, sought to educate/empower ourselves in every historical period, without exception. It is our right and responsibility to continue this tradition by any means necessary. Our very survival and development not to mention liberation, is at stake.
This nation/empire – as evidenced by its policies, practices, and founding documents -has upheld the motto that “All lives matter with the exception of Blacks, Native Americans, Latinos, poor, sick, or disabled people, those with limited formal education, and so many others.” We are standing at a crossroads. The doors of liberation, human dignity and social justice are locked. Who will come to open them?
Agyei Tyehimba is an educator, activist and author from Harlem, N.Y. Agyei is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. In 2013, he wrote The Blueprint: A BSU Handbook, teaching Black student activists how to organize and lead. In April of 2014, he released Truth for our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens. In 2015, he wrote My Two Cents: Unsolicited Writings on Race, Politics, and Culture. Agyei has appeared on C-Span, NY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, “The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Currently, Agyei is a member of the Black Power Cypher, five Black Nationalist men with organizing backgrounds, who host a monthly internet show addressing issues and proposing solutions. He runs his own business publishing books, public speaking, and teaching Black people how to organize and fight for empowerment. He is the founder and coordinator of Harlem Liberation School and the YouTube channel Black Liberation University.
Agyei earned his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Syracuse University, his Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and his Master’s Degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.