Google+

REACH – 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding

 

Reach

40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding

Edited by Ben Jealous and Trabian Shorters

Foreword by Russell Simmons

Atria Books

Paperback, $15.00

304 pages, Illustrated

ISBN: 978-1-4767-9983-4

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“I’m aware that, for black men today, racism is still an obstacle that causes tremendous anger and suffering… Whether it’s the kind of racially charged violence that led to the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Jordan Davis, and countless other 512JlcutXKLblack, unarmed young men; or the predatory mortgages that invaded our neighborhoods; or the continuation of America’s obsession with warehousing millions of us in prisons and jails across the country—our people have been hit hard…

No matter how great the challenge is, you must breathe deep and keep pushing through. That is what the great men in this book have done during the course of their lifetimes.”

— Excerpted from the Foreword by Russell Simmons (pages xvi-xvii)

 

Many successful African-Americans seem to forget where they came from after they enjoy a measure of success and make it out of the ghetto. However, there are also those who remember their roots and maintain a lifelong connection to the black community.

These role models serve a critical function since, as editor Ben Jealous puts it in the Introduction to the inspirational book Reach, “We cannot imitate that which we have never seen, heard, or read about.” Jealous, the former President of the NAACP, asked 40 black males, some famous, some lesser-known, but each an everyday hero, to share his personal story of triumph in the face of adversity.

The contributors to this timely tome include rapper Talib Kweli Greene, actors Lou Gossett, Jr. and Lamman Rucker, choreographer Bill T. Jones, civil rights activists Al Sharpton and Reverend Joseph Lowery, NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas,

Author Trabian Shorters

Author Trabian Shorters

and former Obama Administration green energy czar Van Jones, to name a few. Each one’s essay opens with his portrait, age, title and a description of what community he continues to serve.

For example, singer/philanthropist John Legend reflects upon growing up in his hometown of Springfield, Ohio, where he

Author Ben Jealous

Author Ben Jealous

and his siblings were homeschooled by their mom because his folks couldn’t afford the tuition for a Christian academy. He goes on to describe how he was profoundly affected by the death of his maternal grandmother when he was 10, and how he was further traumatized by his parents’ divorce just a year later, especially since his father took full custody of all the kids.

Nevertheless, John managed to make it to the heights of the music industry, and now generously gives back out of a sense of gratitude. He concedes that, “There was nothing more important to the outcome of my life than the early support I had from family and mentors outside of my home, the access to a piano to practice on, and forums like the church and the community choir in which to hone my craft.”

An enlightening collection of uplifting narratives by ordinary brothers of extraordinary achievement.

 

To order a copy of Reach, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1476799830/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

Entertainment

John Barrowman Thinks Casting Agents Should be Deaf, Dumb and Mostly Blind

  John Barrowman Thinks Casting Agents Should be Deaf, Dumb and Mostly Blind   By Jeremy Bamidele Science fiction, fantasy, and in lesser cases horror films have been ahead of their times in addressing social issues. This is partly due to their ability to disassociate themselves from the normalcy of reality. In fantasy, racial wars and prejudices are represented through orc vs. elves. Such disassociations allow them to seriously address issues while … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Blood Brothers

  Blood Brothers The Fatal Friendship between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith Basic Books Hardcover, $28.99 392 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-0-465-07970-4 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This book] is the story of how Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and the central role Malcolm X played in his life. It is a tale of friendship and brotherhood, love and deep affection. It is also a story of deceit, betrayal, and violence--inside and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent from sales one year ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

The “Grand” Role

  The “Grand” Role by Amy Lignor   There are tons of parenting magazines out there that offer support, advice, and more to the expectant parent or parents. And, I think we can all agree, there are millions of people who wish to offer up advice on everything from how to treat said baby to how you should raise them, educate them, talk to them – heck, there are millions who will be more than happy to advise you on just about every aspect of your baby’s future. … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions

  Yamaha Propeller Selector, Endless Propeller Solutions   The Yamaha Propeller selection page on Yamaha’s webpage is a great tool for every boat owner as a tool not only to make sure the correct prop is on their boat but also gives the ability and freedom to change the prop with ease, depending on the application. Everyone knows the equipment used for bass fishing is not the same for chasing tuna offshore, and the same logic applies to selecting a prop. At … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans

  Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans By Burt Carey Tiger Woods isn’t ready to stage a comeback just yet. The 14-time major champion sent messages via Twitter and his website Tuesday that he would not be competing at either the U.S. Open at Oakmont next week or the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans tournament the following week. "While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Feds Eyeing a Crackdown on Predatory Payday Lenders

  Feds Eyeing a Crackdown on Predatory Payday Lenders By Burt Carey The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing new regulations designed to place limits on excessively high-interest loans issued by short-term lenders. The CFPB proposal would require so-called payday lenders to prove borrowers have an ability to repay a loan by the time it comes due – usually by the borrower’s next pay period – without having to renew the loan or take out a new … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The New “IN” Thing Just Happens to be “UP”

  The New “IN” Thing Just Happens to be “UP” by Amy Lignor   Whether you choose South Africa or Yankee, Connecticut, the new “in” places to travel and lay your head just happen to be based on the one “resort” that Tarzan was so proud of. Yes. You guessed it…the swank, high-class, relaxing treehouse. All over the globe people have decided to sink money (a great deal of it) into creating one of the oddest choices to stay architecturally. An “odd” choice that just … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+