Customer Reviews for

Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    I am a high school English teacher, and I cringe when I think ab

    I am a high school English teacher, and I cringe when I think about suggesting this book to my students because of the language and sex, however they might read it because of the language and sex and change their lives because of the ideas.
    This is probably the most philosophical book I have ever read that was meant for high school students. Mr. Williams has an excellent command of the English language and an equally wonderful handle on philosophy. Students can be introduced to philosophy in a way that makes it meaningful to them.
    I am suggesting this book to all my students, black, white, yellow or whatever color they might be, but especially to those who are on their way to college, and might have a tendency to become sidetracked by the freedom they will experience.
    Buy it as a graduation present for any teen you know! Or, be like Thomas' dad; buy it while they are in school, make them read it and discuss it with them as they read. Well worth it!

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The awakening.

    Thomas's father's statement on pages 54 and 55 is very insightful and touches the heart of true and positive parenting. The vernacular of Thomas at first may seem appalling, yet we are reminded that it is the language of the author's day and time period. High school life from the viewpoint of your changing body and what some females do to be "cool" is the story on pages 97 to 100 and it is rather informative and enlightening. On page 89 a reference to Howard University, "It was like real life BET," will probably be a real eye-opener for readers. Chapter six, "You Can't Go Home Again," was well worth reading for the lessons the readers could learn. There are several pivotal points for the author and gems of wisdom for him to see. This is definitely a quality work of non-fiction. The re-telling of some of his life may seem to be in vulgar terms, yet readers will understand that this is the "way of the streets/the 'hood," as many would term it. The Enlightenment could also be a title for Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-Hop Culture written by Thomas Chatterton Williams.

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:


    I would recommend this book to any/every young African-American male who has grown up/currently growing up in an inner city in America.

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  • Posted July 15, 2010

    Very Enlightening

    I was drawn to this new book at the library. It was interesting to see what young people were saying about their experiences. We all grow up and change, that's just the way it is. I have a dughter going off to College and this is interesting stuff. The confrontations this guy encountered at Geprgetown- over menial stuff was eyeopening. The pecking order and all that was involved. the High school prom scenario- all informative to me. I don't expcet kids to be saints with this high peer pressure society they are up against, But as Mr. Williams explained- he had some decisions to make. This is good reading an I would surely recommend this for parents with middle school aged kids on up. Having been thru this with my nearly 30 yr old son- I believce there is 100% credibility in what Mr. Williams is saying. I had a very open relationship with my son- and all that Williams described- sounded very familiar to me.

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  • Posted June 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It's Not Just Music

    I believe in the first amendment right to freedom of expression. As an artist myself, I don't want to be told what to write, or how to share my gift, but I do makes choices about my writing based on what I believe is my social responsibility; that is write well and don't write about trash. After-all, literature is forever. As is its counterpart, music.

    Music has always impacted culture. It is an expected reality. Young rockers who perhaps got caught up in sex, drugs and rock and roll were impacted by music, as were the flower children of the seventies. There are countless more examples. In my opinion there was very little danger in the music of the past, because most enjoyed the music and were able to resist the lure of any negative lyrics. The listeners simply grew up. The issue with respect to hip hop is the vulnerability of the African-American population. There's evidence that listeners are not passing through and simply growing up. Hip-hop is an opiate that's destroying the vulnerable young people who listen to. The message in most of the music devalues women, work ethic and basic sensibility, so we're in trouble. The music convincingly declares that we're no one unless they have the gold, the car and the girl, so we're in trouble.

    I reviewed this book from the parent's perspective as I am not an expert on Hip-Hop Culture. As a parent I do know our young people are in crisis. I live in the suburbs and it has long concerned me that my generation will be the first African-American generation whose children that will be less successful and less educated than their parents. Emails from the high school principal and counselors that beg parents to care that their children are failing ninth grade English is a scary thing. Failing -English? Their MP3 players are full of music by artist who are struggling to take command of the language themselves. I'll end my rant here.

    This book couldn't have had a better title and probably could not have been introduced at a better time. The cultural war is on and those leading in the trenches need to know that they can win the battle in their own home. In the Williams home, 15,000 books and a father's love did it. Each parent must determine what will be their weapon.

    The Williams Family's brave effort at cultural sustainability is to be admired. I highly recommend this book.

    Reviewed by Rhonda McKnight

    A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2010

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    Posted May 12, 2010

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    Posted May 28, 2010

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