Equiano: the magic of books

So I was reading Olaudah Equiano’s account of being kidnapped from Africa and brought to the Americas as part of the slave trade, and he is being completely controlled by fear when he initially encounters white peoples. It is within this context that he mentions books. Check this out:

“I had often seen my master…employed in reading; and I had a great curiosity to talk to the books, as I thought they did; and so to learn how all things had a beginning. For that purpose I have often taken up a book, and talked to it, and then put my ears to it, when alone, in hopes it would answer me; and I have been very much concerned when I found it remained silent.”

I share this quote because it reminds me of the desire to read that I want all people I encounter to have: my own kids someday (maybe), students in a classroom, or kids I encounter in any community I reside in. I want these kids to see me reading and think, “Wow, that looks neat. I want to give it a try.” Because books have power. They contain knowledge that can lead to wisdom, lead to power, and lead to the transformation of individuals and communities.

So read a book. Because it is magical, because it is a blessing to be able to.

…just some thoughts.

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