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Posted June 19, 2011
Could Have Been a Great Book
"The Hood Health Handbook" is just what it says it is - a practical guide to health and wellness in the urban community. Like other health books, it is very informative as well as insightful, just from a different angle. Using examples of the health/death of many in the hip-hop community, "The Hood Health Handbook" gears itself toward a younger audience that may overlook health issues as not being a concern for them. But when you give examples the likes of Missy Elliot, Big Pun, Nate Dogg, T-Boz and Halle Berry, it's makes it more real, more practical and further reaching. Yet the information is not strictly for the young, but crosses all ages.
This is a health book that I enjoyed and would love to recommend to others as it would be very helpful, but I can't. There were two major drawbacks. While very informative, the manner (language) in which the information is delivered is often vulgar, quoting Ghostface Killah. On showering and bathing, "Y'all (insert expletive) that be (insert expletive) with the bird bath (insert expletive), thinking y'all clean...Wipe your (insert expletive), (insert expletive)...Scrub your balls hard, (insert expletive), scrub your little dirt off your ankles, (insert expletive), that when you was a little kid you couldn't get `em off and (insert expletive)...clean your (insert expletive) with the best soap, (insert expletive)!"
On teeth brushing, "Scrub that (insert expletive) halitosis off that (insert expletive) tongue of yours, man...Scrub that (insert expletive), son! Put some toothpaste on that (insert expletive), brush yo teeth and scrub your tongue, man! Scrub your lips and all that (insert expletive), man, I don't give a (insert expletive)! Stick the toothpaste, the toothbrush down your (insert expletive) throat if you have to, (insert expletive)!"
This Ghostface Killah was quoted and then the contributors of this health book then discussed the useful points of what he said. But was that necessary?
The importance and seriousness of the message was sometimes lost with the delivery. I appreciate the "blackness." But you can talk to black folks without having to go where this book at times went. There was no need to be obscene or to make a joke of anything.
The other major drawback is the layout of the book. There is a table of contents but no index. For a reader looking for something specific, one could not easily just go to that topic. And if you were to find the topic, one has to read through much information for an answer. If a person has to go through all of that for one answer, the health book is no longer practical.
Overall, this is a health book worthy of reading. It's very, very unfortunate that this could not be easily recommended to others, but, as is, with the language, I cannot. This is not a book you can take to your child's school or to a pastor at a local church for consideration, yet the information is important, beneficial and necessary for all. Again, it's unfortunate. I would be interested in reading Volume II but hope the contributors take their entire audience into consideration. Urban doesn't mean vulgar.
Reviewed by: Joyce
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Posted September 18, 2013
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