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Why we gotta lie to survive? A Liberation OpEd (Opinion Editorial)

Liberated Grounds Lead Writer is in the foreground holding a microphone as she speaks to her audience. The direct quote reads as follows: "I'm used to being misunderstood. My words have been forked, chewed, and spit out by people with no taste." A listener is seen in the background observing intently. The Liberated Grounds type and brand logos as well as the qoute are situated at the top and center in the colors midsummer gold and molasses.
Meet Nabou Ramu: Lead Writer of Liberated Grounds
Nabou Ramu Logo

Why we gotta lie to survive?

A Liberation OpEd (Opinion Editorial)

January 26th, 2024

Writer: Nabou Ramu

As you read, please listen to the songs associated with this article starting with:

What Mary said?

"I know we all are struggling, I know it is hard

But we will get by

And if you don't believe in me

Just believe in 'He'. "

God shined his light on me, and I have a testimony and an obligation to tell the truth.

The truth is, I was born Seynabou Ozierea Clark-Ramu. I’m not Seyna; I chose Nabou. I kept battling between who I was, where I came from, and who I wanted to be. Changing my name from Seynabou to Seyna was the first time I ever sold out. That was the beginning of me hating myself.

“Let’s change it to Seyna so she can get a job,” my dad bargained with my Senegalese mother, who couldn’t grasp what that even meant or what river that was fished from.

My gangsta Auntie, Tonya, trained me to stomp my feet, roll my neck, cross my arms, and stand up for my name. “My name is Seynabou,” I practiced at my granny’s house off Avalon in Carson, California. It took me almost 18 years to learn to fully love the parts of myself that make me, me.

I was running from being square; running from the hood; running from West Africa; running from Corporate America; running from school; running from integrity; running from God; running from white supremacy; running from Rome. Befitting because I’ve always been a track star; I’ve always been quick. I was running to fit in with Black Excellence, the Black Elite—you know, the MBAs and PhDs, and the gated communities in Chino Hills; Howard and UCLA grads with AMEX Cards, venture start-ups, and boring content creation.

The truth is, I’m mixed with motherhood, ratchet ebonics, ghetto Crips, academia, elder wisdom, ancestral alters, spiritual baths, Afrocentricity, Bambara, Serer, Toucouleur, pro-black, Texas’s enslaved, Creole French rape, Black Panther, South Central Islam, Mississippi Baptist Church choir, vodun, hoodoo, and wodu.

I smell like citrus lemons, amber incense smoke, rose perfume, Palo Santo water, gold jewelry, and anointing oils. A Black Woman of the Nile.

My sounds of blackness are a polygamy of all of the identities entangled in my soul.

I am the reincarnated soul of Alice Coltrane, Malcolm X, and Zora Neale Hurston.


My right hand is itching as I write this; you know what that means.

I’m used to being misunderstood. My words have been forked, chewed, and spit out by people with no taste. They want me to bite my tongue and eat with metal spoons. No! I am jazz to classical, documentaries to cinema, a ratio of soulful truth and naturally practiced.

I was born x raised on East Hyde Park in Inglewood, California by way of Leimert Park. I grew up with the Black Panthers, Naybahood Crips, and Inglewood Family Bloods—right on the border. My paternal grandparents relocated to California from Texas in the 1940s in search of a warmer sun. Mommy sought brighter horizons by migrating from Senegal five decades later. My parents worked hard to keep me out of trouble and provide the best shot for a strong future. I was sent to boarding school down in Mississippi when I was 15 years old because of the trouble I was getting into. I was a teen mother and followed my Memphis-born baby-daddy out of the “M” to Nashville, and that’s how I ended up in the 37208.

Forced to live under an unnatural culture— we are living in Babylon. In these articles, I am Jeremiah the Messenger. Although I’m Muslim, I am quoting the biblical preservation of Jeremiah according to Britannia.

“He denounced the people for their dependence on the Temple for security and called on them to effect genuine ethical reform. He predicted that God would destroy the Temple of Jerusalem, as he had earlier destroyed that of Shiloh, if they continued on their present path.”

That’s where we are on this timeline.

The veil has been lifted. God is calling his army. Haven’t you noticed an increase in the number of people who are speaking God’s word and the truth right now? Wake up. Our ancestors are present. Get ready for the Messiah.

A ritual of the African Diaspora

My right foot just started itching too…

I kept hitting the wall making bad decisions after the next, I got arrested twice, moved to the South to attended the Piney Woods School, dropped out of Ole Miss, depending on tricks, trynna crack methods, I got pregnant, domestic violence, smoking my life away and partying every night and nothing worked! All of my problems were still there. So I just looked within and cried and screamed for help and repented all my sins. I realized I let temptation influence me do things out of survival mode because I didn’t have faith in God!

I started reading more about Black History and how White Supremacy is the reason why we come from these environments. I realized they did this to us on purpose and it’s up to me to make the decision to not fall for it anymore. So, I put the weed and alcohol down and started sweating it out my system and prayed and prayed and prayed and God showed me in different miraculous ways that he was real. I prayed for clarity, wisdom, grace, forgiveness, maintenance of my blessings an open heart and love.

I’m from the ghetto, and sometimes my life reflects that. But in Rome, if you can no longer produce at the same rate because of life, you are no longer valuable, and everybody without a heart will point fingers and talk about you because of what you couldn’t do for them, because of the money they wanted you to help them make.

What about the people?

The truth is, we sometimes subconsciously trade our soul—our ability to feel emotion—for production and wealth. Plantation psychosis, a money hypnotism that I cannot get hip to.

My greatest lesson is that I know the power and value of my voice and reason. I’m better prepared now to produce for myself. I can no longer sell my IP only to be discarded when I don’t meet their alien standards and times new Roman. A sticky substance binds The Black Elite and Romans together and that concentrate is money, the supremacist glue.

Marvin Gaye risked his career for his recording breaking song, “What’s Going On” as a critique of the Vietnam War, but it unleashed a whole generation of conscious music. The heavy weight boxer Muhammad Ali maintained his dignity and chose prison over killing Vietnamese in that same war and God protected him from both. I will talk about liberation through the spirit of Alice and John Coltrane; with the theory of Dr. Cornel West, rooted in love and truth, under the guidance of Michael Beckwith, and in the name of Allah, the most gracious and merciful.

But watch out now, I got my mind back! I’m steadfast and immovable. I’m ready to take my voice back and tellin’ truth in reflection of yours.

It’s Showtime at the literary Apollo. You can get booed or cheered, but imma say it like it is. My goal is a united people. These articles are written for us, by us. In real life.

This is Tell the Truth, where we respect intellect and worship principles. Through these articles, we will explore self-love, self-respect, and self-determination. The good, the bad, and the ugly truth. Peace and Blessings.

Nabou Ramu is an afrocentric journalist and the Lead Wrtier of Liberated Grounds. She can be reached at or (310) 743-3245 for story ideas and coverage.

Why we gotta lie to survive? A Liberation OpEd (Opinion Editorial)

January 18, 2024

Nabou Ramu

Category: Liberation, Truth, Freedom


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