‘Imagine Freedom’ – New Book Teaches Us How To Fight For Our Rights While Avoiding Burnout, Anxiety, And Depression

In her new book, “Imagine Freedom: Transforming Pain into Political and Spiritual Power,” award-winning journalist Rahiel Tesfamariam tackles how Black Americans can fight for social justice while avoiding burnout, anxiety, and depression.

Tesfamariam told ESSENCE she knew she was going to write a book for the past 18 years, but became inspired after a transformative experience living in Africa for three years and working with freedom fighters. “I came back in many ways, informed by that experience, and knew that whatever book I wrote, I had to share it with Black Americans.”

“I talk about freedom in the book, as both a freedom and healing journey, as a continuum of the past, the present and the future, and I do that because oftentimes we operate solely in the present,” said Tesfamariam. “But, I encourage people to look at Black liberation and the concept of ancestral wisdom. I encourage us to re-examine our values, look at African systems of communalism, indigenous systems of healing. We need to basically unlearn a lot of the things that we have normalized and open our mind to the possibility that a new way is possible, and that new way might look a lot like what our ancestors engaged in.”

I remind myself that I am a product of a system, a system that wants me to work myself to death and that treats me as disposable.

– Rahiel Tesfamariam

In the book, Tesfamariam discusses the impacts of fighting for collective freedom, stating “I myself, struggle to not work endlessly, and I see that same struggle shared by millions of other people.”

Tesfamariam’s advice: “It’s important that we understand the forces that are at work that control and to avoid engaging in self-blame and shame. It’s something radically different to understand that your practices are shaped by a system. I remind myself that I am a product of a system, a system that wants me to work myself to death and that treats me as disposable.”

“We live in a country where everything is tied to our achievement, our daily productivity. We live in a world where there are literally schools, software and platforms measuring our work,” added Tesfamariam. “In so many ways, as a culture, we are trained to determine people’s value of worth, by these numerical metrics.”

“I constantly try to offer myself radical self-grace, and radical self-protection. Because if I’m going to resist white supremacy and capitalism from a political and ideological level, I have to resist it in my own life. So for me, in some ways, it’s daily acts of resistance, and sometimes rest is an act of resistance, for and by the people,” Tesfamariam emphatically stated.

“Liberation is about education,” said Tesfamariam. “Part of what I do is, try to always be informed about the world that I live in so I can navigate it better. I encourage people to be committed to self-education and self-actualization, because the more aware you are about the forces that control you, the more likely you are to resist them and create self-love, self-care, self-preservation.”

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Enable registration in settings - general
Shopping cart