Lead With Thought… We Stopped Leading When We Stopped Reading By Staff Writer Books are like the quiet ‘straight A’ students that sit in the back of the class. Rarely do we see or hear them, but they have so much to say and so much we can learn from. They answer our deepest questions, sometimes without us even asking, as if they were each assigned to tell us something — which, if we really think about it, they are. They even tell us stories, which can often be more insightful than the most complex definitions because of one element — context. Context can make a subject much more relatable and understandable allowing the reader to comprehend a complex message from several angles. On the internet, you’ll find a ton of definitions for some of life’s most complex concepts, even some that can’t be entirely explained in a few sentences. For someone looking for answers, this can often provide little to no help. Do you remember the time when the internet was still in its infancy — no Twitter, Youtube, or Google? Since the birth of these massive platforms, all kinds of information has run rampant and has frequently been misrepresented and misused. However, before digitized research became a trend, Black people valued reading and it’s hand in helping one to become intellectually sound. Back in these times we had some of the most powerful black leaders and, irrespective of their status, some of the most brilliant men and women in history. Our leaders sought knowledge beyond the textbooks and documentaries shown in school and weren’t distracted by Google, Kindle, or hoards of Instagram followers. Today, we’ve been spoiled by convenient sources of “knowledge” which never quite sat right with me. There once was a space and culture built around reading and books in general. The black readers eventually became black leaders. Fatimah Nyeema Warner, professionally known as “NoName”, is a rapper from Chicago, Illinois. In July 2019, instead of opening up a restaurant or a fashion brand, she started a nationwide book club supported by Black bookstores all over the country. The idea was to make reading a sought after hobby again while fostering a positive shift in mentality and motivation amongst our community. There’s a particular level of intellect that is required to cultivate a movement that will leave a perpetual impact on the Black culture. Let’s awake our resting giants. If we create readers, we can create leaders.