By Biko Agozino

How to Free the Enslaved

Dear Children,

You may be wondering why I sent you the Willie Lynch speech for discussion. The reason is that some people believe that his fear-envy-distrust methods still work today to prevent black men from being true men and to prevent black men and black women from building healthy families. There are no chains around our feet (as Bob Marley sang) but if we suffer from mental slavery, then we are not yet free from slavery. The key to freedom is therefore the mind or the awareness that we are not yet free. The speech emphasized that the way to maintain slavery is to weaken the mind of the men and keep them physically strong.

That method failed because our ancestors maintained a strong mind and we are lucky today to have strong minds of our own to protect and advance our freedom. In other words, we must use all the educational opportunities available to us to make our minds stronger so that no one would enslave our people ever again. The slave-holders failed in their attempts to weaken our minds, we owe it to ourselves to make sure that we do not allow our minds to grow weaker. So education is the key to our freedom and equality as human beings, we must take it seriously.

No matter how strong a person is physically, if he is not well educated, then he will be a servant to people who are weaker physically but wiser. The most famous people in the world are not the strongest but often the wisest. Human beings are not as strong as many wild animals but human beings are more dominant because of our intelligence, unity, creativity, courage and love.

The speech of Willie Lynch also said that a good way to dominate black people is to keep us divided by making the young fight against the old, making women fight against the men and making the light-skinned fight against the dark-skinned. They try to keep us divided by making us distrust one another and only trust the slave-holder. Again the method failed woefully because our people still retain the respect that we show to elders, our men and our women continue to love one another and we love all people who are good to our people no matter what skin complexion they have. This means that we must love all (our) people and maintain our unity in order to prevent others from enslaving us ever again.

Willie Lynch talked about black people as if we were horses to be broken down and controlled. He assumed that if you humiliate a black man in the presence of his woman or children, then the woman and the children will never show respect to the man again. The good news is that black people are not horses, we are human beings and no amount of effort to humiliate us or turn us into wild beasts would succeed.

Again, education, love and unity will prevent anyone from treating us like beasts of burden. Horses do not speak a language but Mr Lynch called for our languages to be destroyed and replaced with a deceptive language which says that ‘our crops’ are not really our crops but those of the slave-master. Again, this has not succeeded because our people know that we need to study and work smatter to create wealth for ourselves because their wealth is not really ours.

So my beloved children, do not let anyone stop you from getting the best education possible, do not let anyone make you to hate your elders, do not let anyone make you to hate your women, do not let anyone make you to judge anyone based on the colour of the skin rather than the content of the character. Develop your minds by reading histories and biographies, science and philosophy and not only fiction, develop a scientific mind by asking questions, develop your language skills by speaking publicly about what you need without fear, speak up for the voiceless, show love to everyone and support justice and fairness and no one will ever enslave you. Keep writing too.

Lots of love.