At the anti-white supremacy workshop my comrades and I gave last night, a white activist woman approached me afterward and said its hard to talk to white people about their racism because they don't want to hear about it. She was responding to the part of our presentation where we admonished the largely white audience to stop trying to rush to wherever the klan is to beat them down and instead place more focus on out-organizing the klan at the doors. Or, as my comrade put it "talk to your father because the klan is talking to him and the klan is killing us!" Although I know the position we presented is correct, I'm also aware that the majority of sincere European activists just don't have a clue how to talk to their people. As a result, they instead take a position of attempting to separate themselves from their people. We explained that this is an elitist approach and very dangerous because it leaves their folks open for white supremacist penetration.
I see this problem as a major issue and this has inspired me to write about it in ways that I feel will greatly help white activists who are serious about making a difference in this critical area. "The Courage Equation" is my latest 542 page novel. This book has been very critically praised and the reasons are that it genuinely addresses this issue of European/white people organizing other whites away from white supremacist ideology and actions. The story is seen through the eyes of a white woman named Boahinmaa Omawale. Boahinmaa was formally known as Ashley Summers, but after moving to Ghana and dedicating her life to working as a partner to African liberation, the children of Ghana gave her the Twi name Boahinmaa which means "one who has left her community." Part of the story is that Boahinmaa goes undercover into the white supremacist community and attempts to recruit young white women out of a life of white supremacy and into a life of genuine revolutionary commitment and struggle. To illustrate this work, there are a number of conversations that take place between Boahinmaa and the young women she's talking to that are designed to take the reader through the journey of how to talk to a person about these issues. How to take the decline of capitalism, and the impact that is having on white people, and show them how this places them in direct solidarity with African people and other people of color against the capitalist power structure. Boahinmaa and her comrades have very meaningful conversations with the young white supremacists about class struggle, white supremacy, patriarchy, and the reasons white people really suffer and how that all juxtaposes with the African reality in the world today. These are the types of conversations that need to be taking place and the book is designed to demonstrate how to effectively have those conversations.
Although I started writing the book in 2010, its a perfect complement to the dialogue taking place about how to be an effective white ally/partner today. In other words, if you want to see what a good white partner should look like, Boahinmaa is a great example. Humble, willing to step back, sincere, and honest, these are the qualities we are looking for while Boahinmaa also maintains her own integrity and dignity (meaning a good white partner isn't someone who does whatever somebody African says to do). This book serves as a healthy model for how white partners should look, act, and actually contribute to the struggle. There has been criticism of the book, exclusively by people who haven't even bothered to read it, about why I choose to center the story around a white woman. Those people, who should at least read the book first before they comment on it, miss the fact that I've written volumes about the African liberation struggle and I will continue to do so. "The Courage Equation" is my creative contribution to this dialogue about white partnership. I see it as a concrete contribution to that dialogue and the many responses and written reviews I've gotten on the book tell me people who are reading it agree with me. There are other people writing similar literary fiction. I encourage you to read the recently released novel from my friend and comrade Michelle Matisons entitled "Left to Our Own Devices" (click the link to her novel on my coming events tab). This is the unique story of the voice of a disabled white woman who speaks about and through the experiences of her activist daughter. Michelle's book, as well as mine, are all about the struggles taking place with white people. Class struggles focused around loyalty and interests and how to navigate effectively through this backward strategy this system has of convincing white people that their interests and the interests of the international capitalist system are one and the same. That your identities are one and the same. "The Courage Equation", "Left to Our Own Devices" and what we hope will be a growing genre of these types of anti-capitalist literary fiction works, are written to challenge the idea that white people and capitalism are the same. I think this is a very healthy dose to add to the discussion of what "whiteness" actually means.
So, get these books. Support these books. Have book clubs and groups to discuss the concepts in these books. Invite us to come talk to you about the ideas addressed in our books. These are all things that will help advance this dialogue. "The Courage Equation" is inexpensive and available everywhere online. And don't think my objective is simply to get you to spend money on my book. I won't go into to details, but all I'll say right now is the only money I've seen to date from my book is what I've gotten in sales for copies I've bought retail. In other words, I have no way to purchase my book right now except to buy it the same way you do. So, making money is a non issue. My motivation is getting the ideas my book promotes out there as far and wide as I possibly can and the only way that happens is if people support independent writers like myself and Michelle. I want people to be inspired by Boahinmaa and the work she does in the hopes that it will help people believe they can do the work themselves. I spent five years of my life developing Boahinmaa because I believe a little of her exists in all of you. Let's encourage that portion of you to come out so we can effectively beat back this reactionary wave of anti-African hysteria that the capitalist system so much depends upon to keep its engines running.