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1:05 PM / Thursday July 16, 2020

7 Jan 2010

The Best (and Worst) Black Books of 2009:

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January 7, 2010 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

11. Shooting Stars

by LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger


12. Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think about Love Relationships, Intimacy and Commitment

by Steve Harvey


13. Daughters of Men: Portraits of African American Women and Their Fathers

Edited by Rachel Vassel


14.Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance

by Ngugi wa Thiong’o


15. The Love Ethic

by Kamau and Akilah Butler


16. Legends: Rare Moments and Inspiring Words

by the Editors at Smiley Books


17. Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African-Americans

by Roland Laird with Taneshia Nash Laird


18. Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith

by Jewell R. Powell


19. The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama

by Gwen Ifill


20. The Hiptionary

by Mahmoud El-Kati


21. Men Don’t Heal, We Ho: A Book about the Emotional Instability of Men

by Steven James Dixon


22. 32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business

by Earvin “Magic” Johnson


23. The Survival Bible: 16 Life Lessons for Young Black Men

by Jihad


24. Sovereign Evolution: Manifest Destiny from “Civil Rights” to “Sovereign Rights”

by Ezrah Aharone


25. Losing Control: Loving a Black Child with Bipolar Disorder

by Dr. Cassandra L. Joubert


Worst Black Books of 2009

1. Barack Like Me: The Chocolate-Covered Truth

by David Alan Grier

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A transparent take-the-money-and-run rip-off of no substance ostensibly published to cash-in on the president’s popularity. The most out of touch offering since last year’s worst offering, Shelby Steele’s pre-election opus explaining why Obama couldn’t win.

 

2. More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City

by William Julius Wilson

Although this much-ballyhooed book arrived with a lot of fanfare trumpeting it as introducing a new “holistic approach to race,” quite frankly, I found it to be a rather blah rehash of old wine in new wineskins. Quite simply, you’re actually going to have to come up with truly fresh ideas to earn this critic’s stamp of approval as an innovative thinker, Harvard credentials notwithstanding.

Trust me, it’s hard to find a more vague assessment of the State of Black America than this one by out of touch, Professor William Julius Wilson: “We can confidently state… that regardless of the relative significance of structural and cultural factors in black family fragmentation, they interact in ways far too important for social scientists and policy makers to ignore.” Zzzz… Zzzz… Zzzz…

3. The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships

by Hill Harper

For some reason, actor Hill Harper decided to write a relationship advice book even though he’s never been married and freely admits to a checkered past in terms of dating. In this ill-conceived opus, moreover, he makes the tactical error of going public with his private life, relating how “This beautiful Black queen is my great blessing here on earth.” And in his concluding chapter, he waxes romantic about their solid future together, despite the odds against long-distance liaisons when one person’s on the East Coast while the other lives out in L.A.

 

Regrettably, the couple has reportedly already called it quits, which makes you wonder why Hill’s editors didn’t try to talk him out of mixing business and pleasure on the pages of his book, especially given his spotty track record. Sorry, it’s kind of hard to take any advice from a bachelor-turned-love guru who didn’t see this safe falling from the sky about to land on his head.

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