by Ashahed M. Muhammad
The “conventional wisdom” is that smartphones and social media applications such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are responsible for youth no longer reading books and a general lack of appreciation for long form journalism.
It may be tempting to reduce the perceived problem to such simplistic terms, however, looking at the number of youth reading and carrying around The Teachings 2.0—the new book containing selected tweets from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan—perhaps we should conduct a reappraisal of what appears to be “conventional wisdom.”
Many are aware of the legion of young Muslims within the Nation of Islam who have assembled what is known as the “Farrakhan Twitter Army.” The young men and women diligently spread key video clips and quotes from Minister Farrakhan’s historic paradigm-shifting lecture series “The Time and What Must Be Done,” which aired during the entire year of 2013 and into the beginning of 2014.
Minister Farrakhan tweets regularly from his Twitter account answering questions from the over 224,000 that follow him. I feel a special connection to the Farrakhan Twitter Army having moderated the #AskFarrakhan Social Media Town Hall September 26, 2012—which really introduced the world to Minister Farrakhan’s presence within the social media landscape in a major way.
Some complain about the younger generation’s refusal to read and often criticize their methods of expression, but the realities on the ground are different for the Nation of Islam’s youth, and perhaps we are witnessing a positive shift in the reading habits of youth in general. I’ve seen more teenagers and “twenty-somethings” carrying this book around, posting quotes from it on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter—and posting pictures of themselves reading it—than any book in recent memory. [READ MORE]