A Florida A&M professor, politician and community activist has published a provocative new book.
In his Oct. 29th release titled “Our Faults: Conversations on the State of Affairs in Modern Black America,” Anthony Viegbesie, claims the attitudes and behaviors of black Americans themselves are the core reason for wide-ranging hardship within their community.
“[The book] is an awareness of how black Americans shape our own state of affairs and how behavioral changes will break the cycle of multi-generational poverty,” said Viegbesie.
Viegbesie’s seven-chapter book discusses the identity of black Americans and how important it is to live up to the American Dream.
He said the book’s conversational tone teaches the responsibility of black Americans to promote healthy lifestyles for the next generation.
“My book’s message is that we are the solution to our problem,” Viegbesie said.
Viegbesie is no stranger to the Tallahassee community. He is former president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also teaches economics and public administration at Tallahassee Community College and is an adjunct professor of economics and agribusiness at FAMU.
In 1978, Viegbesie emigrated from Nigeria to the United States and began working as a migrant farm worker.
Viegbesie said he came to the United States with nothing but still had dreams and aspirations and took every opportunity he could.
“It was a lot of sacrifice and hard work, but the most important thing was me knowing and trusting that upon that entire struggle there was great rewards,” Viegbesie said.
He has dedicated many years toward earning four degrees, which, among others, include a master of science in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky and a Ph.D. in public administration from Florida State.
“I remember nights walking to Strozier Library in the rain to work on a project. It is important that everyone is educated, especially us as black Americans,” Viegbesie said. “It’s the only way for us to improve our community.”
“There were times I went without shoes, a car, or even food. I went through a lot but I am thankful to God and this country for allowing me the opportunity.”
Viegbesie hopes his experiences, along with the book’s subject matter, will be an inspiration for readers.
“My hope is that each of the seven chapters in this book will awaken the consciousness of black America to some of what it does to contribute to the demise of its people thus opening the door to dialogue about them.”
“I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist. I’m just saying that it is time for black Americans to start taking the time to look at thing core things we are doing that continues our economic demise,” Viegbesie said.
Viegbesie’s book can be purchased online at Amazon.com.