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The Love That Determined Men
—a Bill Curtis Book Review
Interestedly enough, the relationship between Black Men and their mothers speaks volumes. Fathers, abandonment, and the great saga of the woman who "had to do it on her own, because, well, you know, my father left" plays the heart strings. In this dynamic, Black Men as fathers are irrevocable bad guys; one should approach these real stories with eyes open, ears amplified, awareness on ready.
Sacred Bond, Black Men and Their Mothers, a book by Keith Michael Brown, is a collection of thirty-five (35) interviews with men who speak to their relationship with their mothers. It's a cross-collection of men in varied professions and attitudes about this thing called Life. All love their mothers or grandmothers, or aunt so and so, or the woman down the street who influenced their lives.
Sacred Bond removes the veneer from the jagged, misconstrued perception of Black Men as titanium tough guys. Those fellows, after all is said and done, really love their mommies.
Sacred Bond doesn't raise a lot of questions. It's a "Good-Stuff" book, the kind left on coffee tables to spark conversation, measure compatible values and interests, or just plain impress company. Mr. Brown teamed with Adger W. Cowans who did the photography. The photos speak that "pick-me-up-off-the-coffee-table-please-now-but casually" book language.
Imagine an extraterrestrial teleported into a living room with a coffee table graced with Sacred Bond. She would be impressed that Black Men are the most passionate men on the planet (which they are) and their mothers examples of pure love (which they are).
Rightly so, Sacred Bond pulls back the softer side of determined Black Man pride. This soft emotional underbelly begs the question as to why American Culture is so pathological in its portrayal of these men. A sure sign of emotional barbarism, the alien would conclude, and for sure a sign of fear of such potential.
Curious. If Black Men so loved their mothers, then why do so many Black Women have such sweet smelling descriptions for Black Men? Like, Black Men ain't perfume.
What happens to the emotional state of that son when interacting with women in general? Is this a Frantz Fanonian question? Perhaps this is a question "Good-Stuff" books can not answer; but Good-Stuff" books are absolutely vital in the constructionist phase (see Na'im Akbars's book, "Know Thy Self") to restore the Black Mind to mental health, and to love. Every coffee table demands a "Good-Stuff" book on post to strengthen mind to self, and to love. Sacred Bond, Black Men and Their Mothers is a Bill Curtis (MRR***) Must-Read-Reading.
Bill Curtis' commentaries and reviews have been published in the Afro-American, The Baltimore Chronicle, The Baltimore Press, The Baltimore Times, The Baltimore Sun, Financial Independence Magazine, Every Wednesday, Blind Alleys, African-American News & World Report, and at Barnes and Noble on the internet. Contact Mr. Curtis at WebReady@theglobe.com or P.O. Box 2043, Baltimore, MD 21203-2043.