Opinion: Reading is Revolutionary – By Yvonne Sam

Reading is Revolutionary

By Yvonne Sam

The struggle of Black people have been well documented  by multiple theologians, historians, journalists and researchers, as well as our ancestors who were in the unfortunate position of being in the ultimate form of bondage.  Barbarities such as, raping of our women, castrations, public lynching for “entertainment” and the separation of families were  a daily occurrence in the life of our people during the slavery period. Add on, stripping us of our culture, and suddenly you have a group of people in 2017 in the exact same position as they were since the 1600s. Much has changed since then and while all of these were damaging the one I find the most devious but seemingly effective was to deny and control our ability to read.   

During the era of slavery, the punishment for reading was severe if not fatal, and those slaves who were allowed to read were misguided to such a degree that they too believed in their own inferiority. With limited reading skills and basically the clothes on their backs, our ancestors made great strides but currently with an ever-increasing high school drop-out rate and a biased political and legal system we now find ourselves in a similar position as our ancestors—-working for the good of the Master, receiving little benefits, under- educated and disenfranchised.

Yes, our literacy skills have improved, but the reading habits and those of our children and the lack thereof has been a huge set back and handicap in our struggle as a people.

Actual comprehensive reading helped bring us out of servitude, reading of intelligent and critical thinking writers who were unapologetic in speaking power to truth.

Let us fast forward to 2017 where Blacks are being phased out via guns, drugs, legal system, education and economic inequality but yet our lust for Nike, Timberland,  Tommy H, cars and clothes still gets fulfilled. We have easier and faster access to information than our ancestors ever did, yet far too  many of us are  YouTubing, Facebooking, Instagramming, As The World Churns, or worried about what some entertainer, who doesn’t give a hoot about us is doing.

Take it or leave it, the majority of us don’t read anything of retainable value, and if we do it’s the grocery store flyer or an entertainment article and not the Bible. No disrespect intended, but the answer to fighting present day problems isn’t in any one of those.

In the meanwhile the mainstream population is devouring the works of Napoleon to learn strategy, and Machiavelli to learn trickery. In fact, they even read the writings of our own scholars and leaders to learn the truth, and to help better their grip on us as a people.   Do not misunderstand what I am saying, for by no means am I saying one can read their way out of oppression, but to better understand how to accomplish a task you have to read the manual or at least watch the video.

So if you are beginning to wonder why our kids today are overly concerned with music, videos, sex, clothes, tight and torn jeans etc., check what or if the parents are reading or watching and you will find  the root to the problem. This is the primary reason underlying our failure to produce and add on to the gains made by those gone before us, and why we are fighting the same fights as our parents and their parents. If all we watch is ignorance and foolishness, who will show or tell our children differently?  Or better yet, who will they respect. Elementary Watson!—Nobody.

From hereon we must make a concerted and  conscious effort to educate ourselves by doing more comprehensive reading, and passing on the habit of reading to our children.  Reading is feeding the mind, it’s therapeutic, and it’s enlightening, educational, informational and entertaining. But most of all…………… it’s revolutionary.  Let reading be like breathing, and let us guide the younger generation to become readers and subsequent leaders. The more they read, the more they will know, and the more they know the more they will grow and it will certainly show.

Yvonne Sam


Guyanese Cultural Association of Montreal – soliciting advertisements

Greetings fellow compatriots:

Come September 16, 2017, The Guyanese Cultural Association of Montreal would be celebrating their fiftieth year of existence. The occasion would culminate in a Banquet and Ball under the auspices of the Minister of Social Cohesion Mr. George Norton. 

In the capacity of current Vice President of the organization I am hereby soliciting your support for the occasion in the form of a Congratulatory advertisement/ Business card in the souvenir booklet.

The cost of this congratulatory advertisement is as follow:   Congratulations– $ 10.00   Business card: $ 40.00

Deadline: August 25, 2017. 

Looking forward to your support.

Yvonne Sam (Vice President). 

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