Self-Leadership Education: the power of books, and reading to FREEDOM!

I was in a speaking engagement recently in Atlanta, Georgia, at a Leadership Youth Forum hosted by the Hatian consulate on the theme: Be part of Haiti, remember our roots. I introduced my talk with the power of books, the power of reading, the power of self-leadership education on our way to freedom, wealth creation, and community building in Haiti, its diaspora and throughout the world.

I told my audience about a pioneer founding father of the Haitian revolution which led to independence  named: Bookman.

Dutty Bookman was a self-educated slave born in Jamaica.  He was later sold by his British master to a French plantation owner after he attempted to teach other Jamaican slaves to read. His French name came from his English nickname “Book Man

In 1791, in a village called Bwa Kayiman,  He conducted the first black leadership convention in America which included a religious ceremony in which a freedom covenant was affirmed. This leadership convention has been a catalyst to the slave uprising that marked the beginning of the Haitian revolution.

Boukman was not the first leader to attempt a slave uprising in Saint-Domingue. However, his organized mind, leadership attributes, posture, and fearsome temper made him an effective leader and helped spark the Haitian Revolution which will culminated later to independence through the leadership ability of self-educated Toussaint Louverture, and  warrior Jean-Jacques Dessalines.

It started with a man’s decision to educate himself, spreading the power of books, and the power of reading. It started with a man with conviction, commitment to create the ¨land of the free¨ which will give hope to other blacks in America.

Frederick Douglass who escaped slavery to become a great orator wrote in his narrative of his life: The more I read the more I was led to abhor and detest my slavers. I can regard them in no other light than a band of successful robbers. Who left their homes and went to Africa and took us from our homes and into a strange land and reduced us to slavery. I loathe as being the meanest and the wicked of men. As I writhed under it I sometimes felt learning to read was a curse rather than a blessing. It opened my eyes into a horrible pit, but with no ladder to get out. In moment of agony I envied my fellow slaves for agony.¨

We are living a new age where self-slavery. It’s up to us to chose how we invest or spend our time in entertainment for short term gain or self-directed leadership education for long-term gratification.

That’s why I like Life Leadership. It gives me an opportunity to be part of a community of self-educated leaders who take into their own hands their future. If in the times of slavery, books, and reading were an assault, today it’s an open flow to take advantage of , and we can get compensated for it. I like it.

Best-selling author Chris Brady just released a talk on the importance of reading to succeed. Reading is the basic foundation to bring success, significance, and legacy. That will be my next post.

Have a great day. Pick a good book. Read.


Published by Roosevelt

Roosevelt JF is a Global Leadership Fulbright Research Scholar from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he taught Haitian Studies as an Adjunct Instructor (2005-2010). Roosevelt was also a senior admissions adviser at Kaplan University. Roosevelt JF is the President of The JF TEAM, INC; a full media marketing and business development consulting firm based in Fort-Lauderdale, FL. He is a sought out radio and TV business show host. He is also a guest for several mainstream medias including NPR, the Miami Herald and Newsweek. He also leads the Center for Communication of AIDS, a network of journalists committed against AIDS in Haiti and South Florida. He speaks fluently Creole, English, French and Spanish. He is the author Of "Leadership sur le vif: Des idées pour le changement et la création de richesse en Haïti".

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