Reading Time: 3 minutes


LRM_EXPORT_118409055794936_20190121_085608822.jpegEvery time I’m on Twitter, my brain gets ready to see another stupid, insensitive or shallow tweet, comment or as they it is now euphemized “opinion”. I don’t have problem with people saying or speaking how they feel or what they think, I’m always curious about what people think and how they feel and it gives me joy when someone confidently raises their voice to speak. I, however, have a huge problem with people who justify the stupid words that spout from their mouths as “yen, yen, freedom of speech. I can say anything, is it your mouth?”

Honestly, the words that come from some people’s mouths need to be slapped out of their brains.

On Being Free To Have an Opinion.

You’re free and entitled to an opinion, you’re free to say Wizkid is new Fela. But first, where is your opinion coming from? Based on facts, and knowledge of what Wizkid has accomplished over the years, based on how he makes you feel? How he transports you to a new whole vibe? Based on his good singing voice and style, based on the awards, based on knowing who Fela is, like before you say Wizkid is the new Fela, is it because you really mean it, that you really think that if Fela was alive, he would say hey come Wizkid, I want to dash you my name OR IS IT based on you being a fan, a stan. Is it because you see him as an idol, because he reminds you of how popular you would like to be, is it because you wished he was your boyfriend or your brother or any other shallow reason?

Also, before you have an opinion like Wizkid is overrated. You are also free to say that too. But where is the opinion coming from? is it based on facts? Is he not good enough, compared to? Is it because you don’t find his music enjoyable or because you know people who can actually be him and be better if given the opportunity or IS IT because you wish you was him but you aren’t him, is it because the girl next door you don’t like much like him too much or the influencer you hate on twitter is always talking about him?

If your opinion is based on proper thinking and reason and facts, whether they agree or not. Bro, you are free to speak it, but when your opinion is from a shallow foundation, a faulty thinking. Bro, sit down and think again.

Freedom of Speech makes people lazy.

We misuse it a lot, this ‘freedom of speech’. Freedom of speech makes people lazy to think, they think that since everyone is free to talk, since anyone can say anything, they too, can say anything without knowledge, without thoughts, without ruminating and building up a foundation for their opinions. Thinking is hard work, speaking without thinking is laziness.
The point is your opinions matter only after proper thinking, after a solid foundation on the topic you speak of, your point matter if the root from where your opinion sprouts is nourished and watered with knowledge and awareness. If you’ve heard and read and listened.
Don’t come to say “Depression is for rich people or poor people are people who chose to the poor” because your opinion is based on ignorance or stupidity. Both can be cured.

Your opinions should come from a knowledgeable place, your opinion should be watered and groomed. Your opinion shouldn’t come out of nowhere. Especially when it comes to trending/ controversial topics.
Because something is trending and everyone is talking about it doesn’t mean you have to speak too, doesn’t mean you have to follow the trend. Think, look for facts, listen, read and grow your opinions.

Your opinions should come from a knowledgeable place, your opinion should be watered and groomed.

And don’t be scared when your opinions are unstable or changing, it’s a good sign. Sometimes you need to rebuild you opinions, sometimes you need to demolish it, sometimes you need to just repaint or furnish. As long as you’re learning and thinking and thinking and learning and thinking.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Read The Autobiography Of Assata Shakur. *Assata: An Autobiography*.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

First, if you haven’t heard of Assata, you should know Assata Shakur isn’t 2Pac’s mother. She actually isn’t related to 2pac, but she was really good friends with Zayd Shakur, 2Pac’s uncle. And when Zayd lost his life during their struggle for Black Liberation, Assata took Zayd’s surname “Shakur” as a respect to his memory, to his struggles. Assata is although referred to as 2pac’s godmother. 2Pac’s mother is Afeni Shakur and she was also part of the Black Liberation Army with Assata Shakur.

Assata Shakur was born JoAnne Deborah Byron, in 1947, in Jamaica. She was actively involved in black revolutionary movement in the 60’s.
In her autobiography, she spanned through her life from childhood to adulthood, her involvement in Black Liberation Movements including the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, her suffocating entaglement in the U.S forces, her years and cruel experiences while she was captured and imprisoned (different prisons), till she landed in Cuba as a political refugee.

She still resides in Cuba.

In her autobiography, Assata left some details vague including how she landed in Cuba but I understand that is for her safety and many others as she is still a fugitive .

This is a beautiful book by a beautiful, powerful woman. Her words and story made me shudder so much I had to take several breaks to really breathe, to really ponder and think. Learn more about Assata Shakur here

Here are 3 reasons of many more reasons I think you should read this.

1. Know Your History. Know Your Heroes. Know your True History, your true Heroes.

While we may all think we know our history, Assata made me realise that some of our History sometimes can’t be found in books.

‘Nobody is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them. Nobody is going to teach you your true history, teach you your true heroes if they know the knowledge will set you free.’

— Assata Shakur

Assata explained how history over the years had been distorted to the extent that she searched and searched books and books didn’t reveal Nat Turner existed.
How we’ve been made to think that Abraham Lincoln loves us so much, he fought the civil war to defend the Blacks. I was made to know that many things we know about Black History is only what our oppressors want us to know.

Assata said in her book that when she started studying the true history of Black was when she realized that Slaves actually fought to be free, unlike the way she had been taught in classrooms that it was only The Whites who fought against slavery.

Our history is important, our true history and from reading Assata’s Autobiography, You will realise history needs to be learnt and relearnt and sometimes the history you think you know may need to be unlearn.

2. Be A Change in the World.

As an African who haven’t left Africa, I have no personal experience of black oppression and racism, we basically are all Blacks here . But as a young adult, I know how it feels to be opressed by the standards society have set, to want a thinner lips and a larger hips and a prettier face and longer hair.

And this can’t even be compared to the effects of racism and black opression on Blacks. The Blacks are being opressed since slavery began and several years after slavery is abolized. Indirect slavery still exists. From prisons filled with Blacks and Third world people, to the shooting of several black people without justification by people with a better skin, to war against any movement set to liberate the Blacks.

Assata is a revolutionary, I admire her greatly and even if I can’t at the moment be on the streets of New York chanting Black lives matter, Assata has taught in her book the need to be part of a movement that liberates people.

Oppression is in several forms, from letting people walk on your back to watching people walk on other people’s backs without doing anything. You should be part of a movement that helps mankind to live a better life, a movement that corrects social ills. A movement isn’t necessary a group of politicians or militants or students protesting. A movement starts from your own self.

“Revolution is about change and the first place the change begins is in yourself.”
—Assata Shakur

“The less you think about your oppression, the more your tolerance for it grows, after a while people just think oppression is a normal state of things. But to become free, you have to be acutely aware of being a slave.”
—Assata Shakur

Assata’s Autobiography will encourage you to stand up for justice, for freedom, in little ways till it becomes an impact in the world.

“If you are deaf, dumb and blind to what’s happening in the world, then you are under no obligation to do anything. But if you know what’s happening in the world but you don’t do anything but sit your ass, then you are nothing but a punk.”
—Assata Shakur

Image: Vice.com

3. You are Worthy, Know That. You are Beautiful, Feel That.

I’ve never been more proud of being Black. of being a woman, of being A Black Woman after reading Assata’s Autobiography.
As a woman knowing how women are opressed, as a Black, knowing the history of how my ancestors were chained off to the white man’s land, Assata made me revel in the beautiful feeling of being black. She made me consciously aware of my worth and how we all need to always remember that we are beautiful and worthy. If we let ourselves feel that way, think that way.
Assata’s Autobiography in beautiful words and poetry will introduce you to your beauty all over again.
“..If I’ve learnt anything at all
It’s that a wall is just a wall
and nothing more at all
It can be broken down.”
—Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography.

This book was the May read for the online radical reading club becausewe’veread.

To get a copy of the book if you are not opportuned to get one, check the becausewe’veread website for details here.

You can also get it on Amazon.

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