Archives For Books

Marcus Garvey was a Jamaican poet and civil rights campaigner. He had a level of popularity in America during the early post-war years, from 1919-1922, wasn’t an academic, but had a keen eye for studiousness.

He was intelligent, talented and charismatic, but appears to have lacked consistent success because he lacked staying power.

Garvey clashed with intellectuals like W.E.B De Bois.

He had a flair for the flamboyant and not being an American, at times found himself outside the very communities he was seeking to raise up.

Because of this he is credited by some, as having a significant role in laying the early foundation for what would become the African American Civil Rights movement.

The decline in his popularity coincided with Garvey’s radical views on Africa, and the way forward for Americans, such as his support for Black Nationalism and pro-segregation.

His five year imprisonment in 1922, for mail fraud, sealed his, now inevitable, ultimate removal from public life. He served two years before being released and sent back to Jamaica.

Garvey was schooled and later self-taught. His radical racial views aside, Garvey’s short treatise called ‘Educate Yourself’ is a back to basics organic approach to education. The kind of stuff homeschoolers do daily.

It’s clear that some of the ideas on education presented by Garvey are not unique to Garvey. What is unique is the fact that Garvey saw these ideas as worth reflecting on from within his own experience.

Taking into consideration the racism of the era and the muddied struggle for equal educational opportunities, Garvey’s words here carry inspirational gravitas.

 ‘’Never stop learning. Never stop reading […] Make pencil or pen notes of the striking sentences and paragraphs that you should like to remember”
“You should also read the best poetry for inspiration. From a good line of poetry, you may get the inspiration for the career of a life time.”
“Read history incessantly until you master it. You can only make the best out of life by knowing and understanding it. To know, you must fall back on the intelligence of others who came before you and have left.’
“Never write or speak on a subject you know nothing about, for there is always somebody who knows that particular subject to laugh at you or to ask you embarrassing questions that may make others laugh at you. You can know about any subject under the sun by reading about it.”
“By reading good books you keep the company of the authors of the book or the subjects of the book when otherwise you could not meet them in the social contact of life.”
“You should learn the two sides to every story, so as to be able to properly debate a question and hold your grounds with the side that you support.”
“Always have a well equipped shelf of books.”
“In reading it is not necessary or compulsory that you agree with everything you read. You must always use or apply your own reasoning […]Pass judgement on what you read based upon these facts. When I say facts I mean things that cannot be disputed.”
“Don’t waste time. Any time you think you have to waste put it in reading something.”
 “Never pass over a word without knowing its meaning.”
“Read a chapter from the Bible everyday, Old and New Testaments. The greatest wisdom of the age is to be found in the Scriptures.” [i]
“God gives you intelligence to do things intelligently for yourself. You will get no more out of life than you put in.” [ii]


[i] Garvey, M. The Ultimate Collection of Speeches and Poems.

[ii] Garvey, M. 1937, Speech (source) Hill, R.A. (Ed.)

[iii] Sandbrook, D. 2008 The Rise And Fall of Marcus Garvey, The Telegraph (source)

as-things-stand-2If you’re a frequent visitor to my small corner of the internet world, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot more poetry this year.

There’s a big reason for this. I’m aiming at putting together a book of theologically inspired poetry. The plan is to create a 200-250 page text that also shows some of my own hand drawn art, in my own style.

Although most will be included, not every poem I’ve published on my blog will be added. I’m looking critically at my own work and including only those that fit exactly what I’m looking for.

I’m not sure how this book will look in the end, or if it will be professional enough to be noticed. I don’t even know whether it will sell or if there is even a market for it. So, all in all, it’s a step of faith.  One thing I am very conscious of avoiding is a kitsch and cheesy publication.  My hope is that it will be intelligent, confrontational, vulnerable, hopeful, and interesting.

My philosophical approach will be as it is with my approach to this blog and social media; an attempt to contribute material that not only stands with or pushes against, the countless number of theology blogs, but stands out, in a positive way, from them.

Therefore, I’m envisaging something that has a unique voice and character to it; has a consistent, edgy, Christian theological theme that will be worthy of the reader who reads it and perhaps walks away having encountered Jesus Christ somewhere through it.

Of the list of options I could have chosen for my first serious publication, I believe that this is the right path forward. It will function as my somewhat simple and unique entry into a market already flooded with theological commentary and theological journalism.

Of course, whether I can pull this all together or not, all depends on timing. My first ministry is to my family and consequently, the book will come second to my own study and homeschooling dad role.

Like Karl Barth and his first publication, Epistle to the Romans, I’d like to view the final product, similar to this blog as being a letter to friend, to family; a point of contact with the Christian diaspora in modern Babylon; a gathering point “for comrades; for fellow men and Christians, who possibly out of the same confusion [pain; circumstances; brokenness] I found myself in, were also able to reach out for the Bible; and with them in an invisible community, read this old text.”

Your prayers would be appreciated.