Excerpt from Chapter 2:
(Our) Me Power Defined

Unless we understand our lives as a kind of autobiography in the making, we’re likely to take refuge in other people’s stories, in ready-made ideologies, and in unexamined systems of belief. — SCOTT LONDON

As I’ve mentioned before, to get to the true meaning of empowerment, I focused on the inverse of its prefix -em: me. Grammatically, me is a pronoun and functions as the objective case of I. In other words, the main difference between the two pronouns is that I is a subject pronoun and me is an object pronoun.

As you will see, me is not only a first-singular object pronoun; it can also serve as an acronym. I emphasize me first to remind us of the importance of our uniqueness and the need for self-knowledge and principled action, as we navigate relationships with others. You might remember from middle school a subject pronoun can replace the noun—person, place, or thing—performing the action—verb—in any sentence. For example, I electrically shocked my students. An object pronoun, on the other hand, may replace a sentence’s direct object, indirect object, or the object of the preposition. The object pronoun receives the action of the verb or shows the result of the action. It’s not “me ran” but “my students ran to me.” The object pronoun, me, receives the action of the running students.

While drier than un-buttered cornbread, these linguistic details are important because my combination of “Me Power” is grammatically incorrect. I’m calling out these technicalities because I took what on the surface looks like a prefix, -em, flipped it into a personal pronoun, me, and created “(Our) Me Power”: a concept that is a noun, not an overused verb implicating people as passive recipients.

Me represents the first person singular so the individual starts with himself or herself. Yet, Me Power doesn’t stop at the individual and is not a silo based on some narcissistic conceptualization of inner power.

Unlike empowerment’s denotative meaning, I argue…

Read the rest of Chapter 2

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Early Praise for Me Power

“Captivating, raw, relatable, insightful, and encouraging! This is just what those of us from historically marginalized backgrounds need as we face the world and make sense of how we WANT to show up in it.”
dr. eve hudson
Founder and President, Evingerlean Worldwide & Award-Winning Host of “The First-Gen Lounge”
“In the tradition of Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, LaNysha Adams has written an inspiring manifesto on taking agency in our lives by empowering ourselves through self knowledge and principled action.”
Founder of Life Centered Therapy & Author of The One Hour Miracle
“Me Power calls us to recognize our inner strength so we can activate the biggest impact within and around us. Dr. Adams gives us practical tools to see our empowerment as energy – a flow of possibility to spark personal, professional, and organizational change. I’m excited for the possibilities ahead."
Author of Perfect Enough
“Me Power is anti-self-help, by which I mean REAL self-help, a way of thinking that comes from within you. It is not written by a guru telling you what to think or how to live your life, but by a fellow traveler. It’s a great reminder that what happens to ‘me’ affects ‘we’ in a profound way.
dr. james godley
Postdoctoral Fellow, Dartmouth University