Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyReared in a Los Angeles ghetto, Gilbert served a three-and-a-half-year prison term for robbery, after which he got a ``second chance'' at UC-Irvine. He graduated and, having been selected for President Carter's Presidential Management program, was on the way to a career when he became addicted to crack. Through a mix of religion and New Age self-help concepts, Gilbert reformed himself and then turned his attention to helping other ghetto kids. What they need, he argues, is to be reprogramed to value people more than money, to believe in their own power to change. He created a seminar program called Simba, the Swahili word for lion. While Gilbert's eclectic mixture of spirituality, self-help and Afrocentrism has apparently worked to help young men to negotiate the passage into adulthood and others to resolve conflicts, his account is too sketchy to be truly convincing. Tyehimba-Taylor is editor of Forward Magazine . Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Library Journal - Library JournalThe echoes of Malcolm X, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King reverberate throughout this inspiring account of the author's efforts to improve the welfare of the African American community. Seeking to strengthen the lives of black men, Gilbert created SIMBA in 1988. This organization, which requires 66 hours of training and 12 years of commitment from its participants, aims to foster the development of young boys, with an emphasis on discipline, pride, responsibility, and respect for oneself, women, and the community. This process, the author shows, helped participants examine their own pain, heal it, and become mentors to young people. A work of tremendous social, political, and spiritual significance; recommended for all libraries.-- Keven Whalen, Montville Lib., N.J.
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