Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Book Young Black Men Should Read This Year

There are few if any books that speak real-talk to young men, from Generation Y (1980-2000) that relates to the challenges they face daily.
Their collective bond is hip-hop culture which is heavily influenced by more aural than written communication. It shapes their:
  • fashion
  • music
  • philosophy
These are the young Black, Latino and urban residents that make up a large number of the victims and witnesses of the status quo policing strategies wreaking devastation on generations of families in America.

After hearing about Paul Butler on Book TV, I sought out the reviews and discussions of his treatise to see what nuggets could be mined from "Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice" .

Hip-Hop: There's A Message In The Music

The author displays his wealth of knowledge about hip-hop music by citing intimate details from the lyrics of some of the icons of hip-hop. He breaks it down showing how for decades hip-hop artist have used music to tell the stories about the personal challenges they faced and to bring to the forefront of the country’s discussion several of the important struggles of their generation:
  • predatory policing
  • the politics of the drug war
  • the prison state

These are evergreen themes in hip-hop culture and conversations of young Black men in America.

A Book That Shares Truths On Black Men And The Justice System

Prof. Butler thought he had done a good job of insulating himself from ending up on the wrong side of the un-justice system. He assumed, by leaving the ghetto, any law-abiding African American could escape the reach of the injustices of predatory policing that feeds the mass incarceration monstrosity.

Butler sought the rewards of obtaining the best education possible. He studied hard eventually earning an undergraduate degree from Yale, a Harvard Law degree and got a job as a prosecutor, for the Justice Department.

Unfortunately, in his book "Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice" he is able to give us a firsthand account of the American judicial process from both sides of the coin. While he was a federal prosecutor he was wrongfully arrested and charged with assault.

How To Get Johnny To Read

The book’s conclusion outlines what individuals, communities, and governments could do to bring justice back into the criminal justice system. The “seven ways to take back justice” really present one of the few positive ideas toward fairer law enforcement that could possibly change the world.

The author has produced more than just a good read. It’s a book that's ideal for sharing with:
  • brothers
  • sons
  • young men who hang around you
anyone that is interested in shedding the mainstream media's opinion and really digging beneath the surface of hip-hop culture. You will be well rewarded for sharing this book with them. With emphasis on the sharing.

Don’t just hand it off to them like a quarterback does a football and keep going. Use a book as a way to ignite a dialogue, just as you would a log lighter in a fire place. Read a few pages/chapters yourself and together. It'll provide the fuel you need to get them to enlighten you about the songs, artist and the driving forces that motivate them. It will be like pouring gasoline on a fire. You'll have to watch-out for the roaring blaze. Make sure you come back and tell us about it in the comment section.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

15 Books Every Man Should Read


Ours list of books every man should read is original material. What is being touted these days on other list as collections of the best books for men are most likely to reflect the amount of sales of the individual books. It’s common to find a list of books that are supposed to be for males listed in magazines, on websites and newspapers. What we discovered about what winds up on these types of list are books that publishers spent huge amounts of money to publicize rather than books that may have had an impact on the lives of readers.

Ours list of books we recommend for men is based on our keen observations of what we have seen men are reading as we traveled around. We observed dozens of men reading novels so there are one or two on our list. Men are overwhelmingly readers of non-fiction and the vast majority of the books on our list of books for men are from that genre.

We avoided repeating the same old nonfiction stalwarts and macho novels you find on list by Esquire NY Times and other mainstream publications. We sought out the bright literary works that can empower, engage and engross the masculine cyber-centric minds of the 21st Century males. We didn’t want to use an old list just warmed over. So with post-haste we want to add our two cents to the bulging stack of book list.

Davinci code - Dan Brown. The fact or fiction novel explores an alternate religious history. It spawned a new generation of conspiracy theories, renewed interest in ancient mysteries and historical artifacts.


R.L.Stine often referred to as the "Stephen King of children's literature. He authored hundreds of horror fiction novels, including Fear Street, Goosebumps, and a Space Cadets trilogy. The value in these are not necessarily for the reader, but they are good for men to read and share with their children.


Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman.. This book is an eye-opening treatise about political systems, the media, and other crucial resources controlling the flow of information we consume.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Indispensable reading for men who want to learn how to focus on the important things and become more effective in work and in life.


The Civil War Shelby Foote. - Southern born and bred Foote is lauded for the way he painstakingly labored to maintain his objectivity in the narrative. He deliberately avoided mythologizing the characters and idioms in this American vs American conflict, in his work.

Malcolm Gladwell - (anything by the author) Gladwell's penchant for research studies, attractive writing style and content have some calling him a minor genius. He makes mundane scholarly data digestible so that we commoners can relate to the incredible findings he documents in his books.

In Search of Excellence - Tom Peters. One of the most widely read business books of all time. It was once the officially listed amongst the most widely held library books in the United States from 1989 to 2006. His lectures and books have shaped how we do business and several generations of businessmen in America
.
Black Theology and Black Power - James Hal Cone. This book spawned the contemporary thought embraced by civil rights leaders and African American theologians that led the Black Church in the 60’s and 70’s. The book articulated what many Black ministers in those decades felt, but were unable or reluctant to express and laid the foundation for what is now referred to as Black Theology.

Power Of Intention - Dr Wayne Dyer. Dyer’s books are not the kind literary works that you will find on required reading list for schools. However they should be because of their ability to empower men to change and be able to get in touch with their true feelings. His writings can provide them with a mantra for inspiration and success.

Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell. A book that gave man a look into a not so distant future and fueled a generation of science fiction writers, fans and films . Many of the terms and concepts, from the book such as Big Brother, doublethink and Orwellian are now words accepted into common usage.

A People's History of the United States - Howard Zinn. His work provides a 360 degree perspective on American history that is not found in most historical publications . Zinn addresses contributions by various ethnic groups that many history text take for granted or fail to mention.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family - Alex Haley. A wave of self discovery by Americans of every nationality was launched by the movie from this memorable book. It legitimized cultural pride, heritage and traditions.


Dress for Success - John T. Molloy We learned from Molloy what we always suspected about the effects of our appearance in business situations. It popularized the concept of "power dressing." and is responsible for a chain of Dress For Success outlets. They provide clothing, confidence boosts, and career development to low-income women in over 75 cities worldwide


The Power of Positive Thinking - Norman Vincent Peal. First published in 1952, it stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks, and according to the publisher, Simon and Schuster, the book has sold around 5 million copies

Cthulhu Mythos - H. P. Lovecraft. Known as the Lovecraft Mythos. It is about a shared fictional universe created in the 1920s. The American born horror writer is credited with influencing scores of modern day science fiction and horror writers.

These books and authors on our list of Books Every Man Should Read were chosen because they demonstrated an ability to create change, dialogue and have an impact on 21st Century society. Many of the works are not generally ones that most people would consider for a best sellers list, because they did not achieve monumental sales.

However, they are books that can be identified as literary works that have shaped various aspects of modern thought, ideas and beliefs. We feel that men who read these recommended books will experience positive benefits from these notable publications.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

10 Books On Relatinsships For Men

A good book on relationships for men that many guys probably haven’t considered reading, but should is Steve Harvey's 'Straight Talk, No Chaser. It’s billed as a book for women, however males can get a few take aways' from this book that will help them gain better clarity or improve the way they handle romantic relationships.

We have a few other books on our list to help new relationships, floundering marriages and build better communication for couples.


Veteran comic Steve Harvey dispenses more fodder than real world expertise on dating, marriage and communication for guys and gals. He list 5 questions every woman should ask a man that seem to me more like pickup lines for the world’s greatest liar.


He offer some sound advice by establishing these take away's from the book.


1. Dating is like negotiation, be prepared to walk away in fairly short order if you don't get your needs met.
2. Guys aren't interested in marriage so you have to state it's importance to you and your timeline.
3. Men can't be a strong partner until they are making money and have their own career identity straightened out.
4. Men need and carve sex (no surprise here). If you are serious about a relationship wait 3 months before having sex to make sure he isn't "just kicking it".
5. Look good and carry yourself well if you want a real relationship. Girls in short skirts get the wrong kind of guy.


More good book on relationships for men





What Brothers Think, What Sistahs Know: The Real Deal on Love and Relationships

Fighting for Your African American Marriage

The Four Seasons of Marriage

Staying Married: A Guide For African American Couples

Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny

Why Do I Have To Think Like A Man?:

If any one of these good books on relationships for men could benefit someone you know who is to cheap to buy it or seldom reads books here is an idea for you. Purchase the book and leave it lying around where your man, partner or significant other will be tempted to read it. Most books struggle to capture the true essence of male and female relationships. They often defy the sound reasoning used in normal human interactions when encumbered with an amorous relationship, cohabitation or marriage.

The nature of our relationships are too complex to clearly put them into words that everyone can understand. We could always use the old school method of allowing parents to pick our spouses since they can usually view them without the rose colored glasses that can impair the sight of young lovers.

Monday, May 10, 2010

An Old Book For Young African American Men

African American writer Ralph Ellison in front of a bookcase

I've just finished reading a book that's 30+ years old that and deserves a place on every list of books for African American men. I thought I had read this book a longtime ago, but nothing seemed familiar about this edition or this book other than the title.

Black men that haven't read the fourth or any edition of "From Slavery To Freedom" by John Hope Franklin, will remain unaware of some of the important facts about Black history. Franklin reveals some of the crucial threads to the backstory of the modern civil right movement, that's not found in most other books.

He candidly writes about the incredible number of Blacks lynched in America, "more than 100 " in the first year of the new century" 1900. That's a staggering number of murders when you consider that most of them occured in Dixie, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.

The Black Press At The Turn Of The Century


African American men who read this classic by Dr.Franklin will get a true sense of the collective and individual struggles, challenges and victories that it took to build this nation.

Franklin uses the collective experiences of the Black Press at the turn of the century to tell the story of the tumultuous time period in the 20th century when the American press was often bedfellows with racist elements and complicit in creating racial unrest. One Atlanta newspaper editor went so far as to "offer a reward for a lynching bee" .

"From Slavery To Freedom" yields another old, yet still present part of the American patchwork, where a white woman in Springfield, Illinois, claimed she was assaulted by an Black man. An ensuing riot grips the entire country, leaving in its wake several injured and dead African American men.

Later, when she was questioned by a grand jury, she admitted that the assailant was white and the Black man she had named, had "no connection with the incident".

African American men who read this classic by Dr.Franklin will get a true sense of the collective and individual struggles, challenges and victories that it took to build this nation.

The History of African Dispora in America


Franklin weaves 350 years of the African diaspora into the American fabric. He categorizes the "history of Negro Americans", into 25 neat chapters. Each closely represent the various political and social battles Black men have constantly fought while trying to expel the unfair, negative and demoralizing treatment, images and portrayals of African Americans in society.

The Illusion of Equality



The book is only the fourth of the eight editions of this American classic. It does not sugar coat or deny that to achieve equitable progress in the struggle for social justice, it requires a continuous battle against the illusion of equality.

Dr Franklin ends the book with an uplifting and positive outlook on the 1970's. His treatise documents the fact that African Americans have been and must always be, "active and passive participants in the valiant warfare to destroy bigotry, repression and subjugation" as long as they are residents of the Western and known world.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Good Books For African American Men To Read




Before I Forget by Leonard Pitts, Jr is on my list of good books for African American men. It may be Leonard Pitts Jr's first novel, but it bares the epic trademarks of a "how to" handbook for men or anyone trying to deal with some of the curve balls that life may throw you.

To be frank, honestly, I have to admit, I've not had the pleasure of reading the book.

I begin each quest for a new addition to the list of good books for men, by seeking a book with positive reviews from others,  before under taking most of my literary journeys. At first, I wasn't really impressed with what other reviewers were saying what about Pitt's new book.

By chance, I stumbled across a review on the blog "The Pleasing Spoon" by Tavares S. Carney, that mentioned how the story created an awareness, "to the challenges people face as they age and the emotional turmoil a medical diagnosis can bring".

One would expect a good book for black men to have drama, intrigue or a diabolical plot. Especially,  a book from a Pulitzer Prize winning author. To convey awareness and tackle a issue at the heart of the struggles of modern families is Steinbeckian, Shakespearean and Sinclairian.

It also solidifies the African American author's innate resolve to speak to the hearts, minds and spirits of his readers. Even in a novel. Just as he did in the aftermath of 9-11 and consistently does twice each week in his Miami Herald newspaper column.

It also makes declaring this new novel, a good book for African American men, even before I read it,  a hands down choice. I've linked to Carney's reviews of "Before I Forget" for anyone reading this and not thoroughly convinced to give the book a try.

I should admit one last thing to you. I'm a on again, off again fan of Leonard Pitts Jr., but I'm also the kind of reader who is only game for good reads and not just any old book can get my vote of confidence.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books - Good Gifts For African American Men

obama autographs

Get A Piece Of American History....Obama Memorabilia

One of the good gifts African American men will value and stop to read are Barack Obama books. They are historic and valuable collectibles.

Signed copies of his books are already selling for thousands of dollars. I can hook you up with Obama books that are reasonably priced. These deals are not going to last and the prices are getting better each day.

A Piece Of American History....Obama Memorabilia

Obama books are worthwhile and inspiring reading and fast becoming sought after collectibles.

Signed Obama Books

Signed copies of his books are valuable keepsakes and make fantastic gifts for men.

We have the only book licensed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee commemorating Barack Obama’s historic Inauguration

Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book



Barack Obama: The Official Inaugural Book

Former White House photographers David Hume Kennerly and Robert McNeely captured this historic celebration.

Documents the entire inaugural week. From Obama’s “Whistle Stop” train ride to Washington to his first days in office.

Beautiful photos
moving essays
Great photographic historical account


Get A Piece Of American History....Obama Memorabilia

Invest In A Book Selling For Hundreds Soon May Be Worth Thousands

Barack Obama Historic & Collectible Items
Obama Books sold for 20.00 now selling for hundreds
Signed Obama Books

Limited number signed First PRINTING of First Edition.
Full number line from 10 to 1.
Signature authentication and verification

Some signed copies of his books are already selling for thousands of dollars

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Christian Books For Today's Man

cover of follow the smoke

Christian books for men should provide more than just an entertainment value. Carefully chosen books, will equip Christian men with the tools and techniques to renew their mind, transform their lives and become better husbands and fathers.
I listed a few books that make good resources for men undergoing personal challenges and situations that they feel prayer alone is not enough.

A Good Read For Christians

Check out this book by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker for men struggling with sexual temptations.

Every Man's Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time (The Every Man Series)

It comes with a glowing reviews from Dr. John C. Maxwell, founder of The INJOY Group and Jack W. Hayford, Litt.D., pastor of The Church on the Way and president of The King's Seminary.


A Book To Help Men Who Are Their Own Worst Enemy


An author and pastor who has really been making a honest effort to share his knowledge and anointing with others outside of his congregation. You may have heard about him through his television ministry, podcast and now he is poised to release a new book.

Dr. Bryant's book World War Me can provide answers and solutions for Christian men whose inner man despises authority and balance and is out of control. Especially if your own actions often sabotage the goals you've set and it seems as if you are your own worst enemy.
Expect to hear and see more all over the Internet about "World War Me" when Tywebbin launches the blog tour in a couple of weeks.

World War Me

The Book For Men Who Love Barbecue

I would be amiss if I didn't include something for the man who needs to strengthen his skills on the grill. I recommend Houston writer John DeMers, Follow The Smoke (bright sky press) recently.
This book makes a handy guide. It has little nuggets that could improve any man's barbecue repertoire. Some of the best barbecue joints in Texas gets covered in this book with pit masters sharing one or two tips on how they meld the flavors that have made their cooking and establishments legendary in some parts of the state.

Follow the Smoke