When Saye asked me to write the Foreword to his book, the first thing he said to me was, “Dad, I know you will not agree with everything I have written here, but I want you to write the foreword to my book.” I smiled and told him, “Saye, even though we do not always agree on a lot of issues, we do agree on many more issues than those issues we do not agree on. I believe that much of what you have written in your book is very informative and educational. For a lot of people who are not Afro-centric, and do not know much about the African Roots of humanity, or about liberation in general, they will find your book very refreshing. You and I are in agreement on most issues dealing with the issues of justice, freedom, liberation, equality, and a whole host of topics.”
I think it is an honor that Saye asked me to write the foreword to his book. I have taught courses on African/African American Studies, Black Liberation Theology, and the Liberation of Theology courses at many universities, colleges, seminaries and Bible schools. I have also utilized some of the books written by Paulo Freire as my resources and textbooks. Freire’s pedagogical methodology of teaching the oppressed and the poor to see education as a tool for developing critical consciousness were some of my early sources I used in Liberia for teaching our farmers, market women, students, and mine workers who have lived in what Freire calls “the Culture of Silence” for so many years. Liberation Theology and Education are sources for critical consciousness building that go hand in hand. Justice, Freedom, Equality and participation in democracy are part of the liberation issues that must be at the full front in the struggle.
What Saye attempts to do here in his book is to employ similar kinds of pedagogical methodologies articulated by Paulo Freire, W.E.B DuBois, George G. M. James, James H. Cone, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Nelson Mandela and others to educate his readers about some of the profound issues surrounding Liberation praxis. Saye discusses the education and miseducation of our children. He proposes ways and means that can be employed as corrective measures to be used to reform and transform the spoiled and broken system. He deals with exploitation of humanity by other humanity for their self-aggrandizement and economic benefits. Mr. Saye Taryor does not only talk about slavery and human exploitation, he also provides hope and ways by which we can develop social and economic entrepreneurship collectively and individually to uplift the human conditions. This book is not about one or two things. This is a book of “potpourri” of very many issues dealing with very many human conditions dealing with religion, politics, healthcare, social and economic issues and many more that we face every day.
In the final analysis, Saye suggests that we cannot overcome all these ills of society or even receive the benefits of the mounting technological innovations and achievements if we do not use our critical thinking ability to bring about the needed reforms and transformation that are necessary. He details as the backdrop for change, his 1Up Movement, as a very creative and viable way of engaging this struggle. He suggests that we should not only understand the situations, and predicament we find ourselves in, but we should overstand the situation; knowing better than understanding. Anyone who is serious about bringing about innovation and transformation either personally or in a corporate setting must read Saye’s book. It is a Must Read. Saye Taryor’s book, Overstanding with a 1Up Vision: A Critical Thinking Approach to Liberation will offer you some helpful information.
Finally, in order to understand the book even better, one must understand what the word overstanding means. Overstanding is not the same as understanding. Understanding is to comprehend, or have some perception or judgment of a situation or to show some sympathetic awareness or tolerance about a situation. Overstanding is not usually defined in regular dictionary, but you will find the word in urban dictionary. Here is how it is defined. “The distinction between overstand and understand is a matter of “authority”. If you can use something or do a job, you understand and memorize enough to act. In order to innovate or redesign, you must overstand. Understanding can drive the car, but overstanding builds it, (or replaces it with something better). The difference between under and over standing is the difference between operating and creating. Understanding does the job, overstanding wrote the business plan. It is similar to the distinction between academic “knowledge” and experiential “wisdom,” overstanding emerged as a word from the global hip hop culture to help portray an ethic of entrepreneurialism, self-sufficiency, and sustainability.” *+
Thank you Saye for the fine job of sharing this with us.
Dr. Nya Kwiawon Taryor
CEO, Founder, Publisher and President, Kiiton Press