Category Archives: Black Politics

Letters From a Stoic by Seneca

I borrowed this book last summer from a co-worker and still have it. It has taken me a longer time than is polite to have someone’s book but I think any true readers can understand sometimes book reading does not go according to plan.

I finally finished it and I wanted to read this book because all through my undergrad there was a teacher that kept telling us that he did not know why our school put Plato and Aristotle on such a high horse as the Stoics were better. I was never really sure what he was talking about but I made a mental note to get to the books eventually and I guess I finally did.

I loved this book and as much as I am concerned with communities and the collective we can never forget the individuals that make up those collectives. As a person that is constantly in my mind trying to make myself better I learnt from this book. It was a reminder that the quest for success is kinda stupid its best to be a good and wise person that does not worry too much about silly things and that one must at least try to be vegetarian.

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You cannot excuse yourself from blackness

In reading the book Here I Stand by Paul Robeson I learnt that I think it is important and we need to keep our eyes on the prize. No-one is excused from the responsibility that comes with blackness. While we have had many celebrities that have helped in moving the fight forward we have to always remember that all celebrities, politicians, or political parties will not always do what is best for Black people.

Some do, some are frauds, some try in their own way usually in a manner that is not harmful to themselves as an individual. However as a marginilized community we always have to keep in mind that those that are trying to change institutional problems are also restricted by those same institutions.

Today you can think of Colin Kaepernick, he tried to do speak out against an institution  but was he punished for it. I think of Zanu PF or Fidel Castro they tried to challenge the international community and their populations have suffered dearly as a result.

Stopping oppression is not the job of one person it is for all of us to do what we can, when we can and in regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Here are the quotes that stood out to me in the book:  

“Reed is dead now. He won no honours in classroom, pulpit or platform. Yet I remember him with love. Restless, rebellious, scoffing at conventions, defiant of the white man’s law – I’ve known many negroes like Reed. I see them everyday. Blindly, on their own reckless manner, they seek a way out for themselves; alone, they pound with their fists and fury against walls that only the shoulders of many can topple” pg 13 

Here I Stand by Paul Robeson
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