Book Review: “The Black Male Handbook” by Kevin Powell

“The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life” written by Kevin Powell is a collection of essays written to open necessary dialogue.  Topics covered include important and relevant topics ranging from mental health to reforming the definition of manhood to economic empowerment in the Black community.  The basic premise of the work itself, engaging unspoken conversations, is often identified but almost never tackled head on with a spirit of resolution.

The essays in the book are all worth a read but I was most engaged with a shorter list.  “Redefining Black Manhood” by Byron Hurt and “Moving Toward Mental Wellness” by Andrae L. Brown struck specific chords with me as a reader.  My automatic engagement with these two essays in particular stem from my belief these are often the two most ignored subjects in the Black community.

Throughout the book I found myself emotionally (and sometimes verbally) engaging with the individual essays, sometimes negatively.  I “argued” with the pages and content, volunteering my objections to what I calculated to be false conclusions or misdirected guidance.  But this is the point.  The book is not about indoctrinating a set of unarguable truths yet it is to engage all black men in an effort to collaboratively progress. This book is our debate agenda for the barbershop.  This book is our conversation lineup for the dominoes table.  This book is essential travel material for the black male pilgrimage.

Pick up your copy today by visiting Mahogany Books, your local indie bookstore or wherever dope literature is sold.

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