As a book seller, my primary goal is to connect readers with books that they will enjoy and learn from. Having a reader thank me for introducing them to a book or an author they appreciated is one of the joys of running this website.
In a recent conversation we discussed the growing number of publishers publishing the book, Willie Lynch Letter and the Making of a Slave. I asked, “Why is anyone still publishing this book when it is common knowledge that the letter is a hoax?” Of course the answer is self-evident; the book is profitable. Immediately, I was forced to ask myself, why am I providing a platform to sell this book, and helping to perpetuate a lie?
I thought about removing the books from the website altogether, but realized it would be better to keep the book and update the pages to reflect that fact that the letter is indeed a hoax and change the book’s category from nonfiction to fiction. I also provide a link to another book, Death of the Willie Lynch Speech: Exposing the Myth by Manu Ampim which explains why the letter is a hoax and even shares an email exchange with the author of the letter, Kwabena Faheen Ashanti, PhD.
Why do myths like the Willie Lynch Letter persist?
Hollywood would never be confused with an entity concerned with the accurate portrayal of Black history and culture. However if you consider Denzel Washington’s compelling diatribe in the 2007 film, The Great Debaters, it is easy to understand why one would be moved to believe such fiction as the Willie Lynch Letter.
Of course in our social media fueled World Wide Web, scandalous information, whether it is true or not spreads quickly, while the often less compelling truth tends to get lost.
Some argue that it does not matter that the letter is a lie, for it is the message that the letter conveys that matters. That argument is flawed. For critical people, it is clear that the truth is required to understand how the enslavement in Black people in America impacts us today, not some 21st century hoax.
Don’t be lulled into thinking that the spreading of lies like the Willie Lynch letter does not matter. Please share this article, or information about Manu’s book, the next time someone presents you with the Willie Lynch Letter as an explanation for anything regarding Black people, with the exception of how we can be easily misled.