25 Things I Do NOT Believe

-You expect me to believe THAT--

” (They’re) good at the game of tricknology, but I got knowledge of myself, you’re not fooling me.” – Brand Nubian, “Wake up”


1. The Republican or Democratic parties give a Damn about Black and poor people.

2.  White supremacy/racism ended during the Civil Rights Movement. Black people should get over it!

3. Black people’s salvation, survival, liberation and safety depend on the good hearts, intentions, and benevolence of good whites or “people of color.”

4. We can wage an effective liberation movement without serious and sustained study, organizing, consciousness-raising and activism .

5. If we “just got right with God,” we wouldn’t be poor, divided, or oppressed anymore.

6. We can only attain spiritual or political empowerment through one prophet, leader, organization, method, religion, or book.

7. Black people should only study books, films, etc. written by Black people.

8. Patriarchy doesn’t exist within our community, and sisters have no legitimate right to identify and challenge it.

9. Conspiracies don’t exist.

10. Black people don’t have the right and responsibility to defend themselves against repeated and unwarranted violence.

11. Black people are the only group that struggles with issues of low esteem, disunity, violence, envy, unrealized potential, and ignorance.

12. Acquiring financial wealth, and developing an entrepreneurial spirit (without challenging capitalism and class) will liberate Black people.

13. Black women are evil, selfish, argumentative, gold-digging sluts, AND these attributes don’t exist in other groups of people.

14. Black men are lazy, hypersexualized, violence-prone, heartless thugs and these attributes don’t exist in other groups of people.

15. Offering good advice or legitimate critique means you’re “hating” on someone or you’re working for the enemy.

16. All advice and critique are legitimate or sound.

17. Things/people are always what/how they seem or appear.

18. Artists have no responsibility to produce quality music, poetry, movies or images that  are inspiring, empowering, critical of injustice, involve skill or are understandable by the average person.

19. Everyone has a right to do or say whatever they choose, without regard for the damage for the consequences that may follow.

20. Truth, beauty, hope, authenticity, and love no longer exist in the world.

21. Any one group is innately or biologically more honest, intelligent, virtuous,  (or their opposites) than any other group.

22. The United States of America is the “Greatest nation on Earth.”

23. Collective oppression is caused by God, not greedy or power-hungry men and women.

24. Poverty is a problem that results from individual character deficiencies, not corporate greed and exploitation.

25. People can achieve freedom and empowerment just by praying, meditating, thinking positively, or having good plans and intentions.

26. (Bonus): No matter what we do, how well we learn or organize, Black people will never conquer our enemies because “The white man” is too powerful and intelligent.


Agyei Tyehimba is an educator, activist and author from Harlem, N.Y. Agyei is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. In 2013, he wrote The Blueprint: A BSU Handbook, teaching Black student activists how to organize and protest. In April of 2014, he released Truth for our Youth: A Self-Empowerment Book for Teens. Agyei has appeared on C-SpanNY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” 

Agyei earned his Bachelor’s Degree in sociology from Syracuse University, his Master’s Degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and his Master’s Degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at truself143@gmail.com.

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