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Publishers WeeklyStarred Review.This thoughtful collection of short essays, addressing a wide range of issues and emotions facing African Americans, should become a well-thumbed nightstand fixture. Organized into five themes (family, culture, relationships, community and self), contributors range from celebrities like Isaiah Washington and supermodel Beverly Johnson to education administration authority Ontario S. Wooden and self-described "Black Male Teen in America" Bernard Harrison, a 16-year-old from Queens, N.Y. In the "relationship" section, actress Hattie Marie Winston pens a loving letter to her husband Harold, while documentary filmmaker Muta'Ali Muhammad confesses his ambivalence toward "modern black women." Another essay, by young writer Denise L. McIver, conveys her shock at being told to "go back to Africa!" ("My mouth dropped... I had never set foot in Africa"), while a few pages away Tracy Pierre delivers the strident poem, "I Am ... African / (No Hyphen! No Hype!)" Other essays lament the distance among modern African Americans ("We just don't seem to care as much about each other"), but this community-minded collection provides inspiration and reason for hope. Readers should resist the urge to read through these essays all at once; concise and thought-provoking, they deserve to be savored.
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