Ayi Kwei Armah and “The Work”

Ayi Kwei Armah is among the clearest thinkers we have. I ended an article on Pan-Africanism written two years ago with one of his consistent reminders about what we should be doing/thinking and what prevents us from doing/thinking:


“If you have the easy temperament of a conformist, afraid to be condemned as crazy for doing what you know is the intelligent thing to do, if your whole ambition in life is to flow complacently with the present current even though you have no idea where it’s taking you, then of course you’ll listen to the devotees of death and turn away from the voice speaking of connections that can bring your murdered soul back to life. But supposing you’re a thinker, ready, in spite of fear, to walk into spaces where intelligence beckons you, then ignore the priests of lethal forgetfulness. Let them enjoy the applause of sleepwalking audiences. Let them absorb into their bloodstream the sweetness of donor funding. Remember, all they’re doing is their assigned work. The anomaly is not that they are doing their work. It’s that we aren’t doing ours.”

From his The Resolutionaries

See him in conversation this past March with the students and faculty of  Morehouse College here.


One thought on “Ayi Kwei Armah and “The Work”

  1. This is an amazing perspective on the need to awaken and grasp for on our own, for ourselves. We start to grasp onto notions only because the majority holds it to esteem rather than dissected that to truly see what it is for us, what is means for us and why we may follow it. I too have been guilty of grasping onto such but with knowledge like this I am led closer to waking up to what it means to be my own individual.

    Thank you for this.

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