Book Review

Greetings Good People,

I mentioned in a previous post that you might see a book review on this blog from time to time. Well, I recently had the chance to finish three books that I found pretty interesting, and I figured that I would share them with you and hopefully encourage you to support the authors.

The first book that I read was written by New York Times best-selling author Omar Tyree, entitled All Access.

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This thriller is centered around Shawn Blake, Hollywood Bad Boy,  and Judy Pierce, Broadcast News Anchor. Judy starts working with an independent Celebrity Gossip Website and ends up landing an interview with Shawn Blake. Blake then offers her an “all access” pass to his life so that she can have the opportunity to follow him around and tell his story the way that no one else could. However, the craziness that ensues ends up affecting the safety of Judy and her family; all the while, this is just another day in the life of Shawn Blake. You’ll find out why at the end.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I found out about Omar Tyree and his work from my barber/big brother, Ramon Jacobs. Initially looking at the cover and reading a brief synopsis, I thought that this was going to be another classic love-scandal trope; good girl takes a liking to a bad boy, he gets her in trouble, she gets hooked on the “adventure,” he dies, and she ends up being a good girl that’s gone bad. None of that happened. I was pleasantly surprised at the flow, suspense, drama, and character development throughout this story. I cursed out loud several times out of mere shock from the events that happened, and I couldn’t put the book down at one point. If you’re looking for something juicy, then check this book out.

My next read was written by Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies Lester K. Spence, entitled Knocking The Hustle: Against The Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics.

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The premise of this book focuses on how neoliberalism has affected the black community in terms of economics, politics, and even social structure. Professor Spence sheds light on how communities, schools, and even churches are structured like independent businesses  with their primary focus being monetary gain; capitalism. Which causes more inequality because without monetary protection from the government, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. However, this isn’t our fault because our communities are being forced to have an entrepreneurial/hustle mentality in order to make ends meet due to systemic racism.

Yvette Carnell made reference to this book on her YouTube channel, so I didn’t hesitate to purchase. I found this book interesting because it really educated me on certain policies in this country that don’t benefit everyone, or even the vast majority for that matter. This idea that if you work hard and play by the rules you’ll be successful, just isn’t true. There are systemic reasons as to why certain people stay poor and certain people stay rich. This isn’t a democracy, it’s capitalism.

The third book that I’ve recently finished was written by Social Activist and Entrepreneur Dr. Nkrumah Lewis, entitled Becoming A Butterfly: From Prison to Ph.D.

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This autobiography tells the tell of abuse, abandonment, violence, incarceration, and perseverance. Dr. Lewis uses the stages of a butterfly as a metaphor for his life’s journey to success. A book about overcoming the odds would be an understatement if one needed to describe Dr. Lewis’s story. To go from childhood abuse, to teen abandonment/homelessness, to young adult incarceration, would make the toughest of the tough give up, but not him. This is an inspiring story that everyone can be encouraged by.

I found out about Dr. Nkrumah Lewis from my ACE (Fraternity brother), Justin Long. After doing some research, I didn’t think twice about purchasing this book. However, I wasn’t expecting to be so emotionally connected to the struggles and triumphs in his story. It was hard for me to read certain portions and not empathize with the pain that was going through Dr. Lewis, especially as a child. Being black and male is hard enough, but to have added odds stacked against you will make anyone question their reason for living. But what I was impressed with the most was the strength that Dr. Lewis had to keep going. There’s power in making strides to giving yourself a better life, power that no one can take credit for or take away from you. That’s what I respected most about this story.

I enjoyed reading these books and I can’t wait to support the future projects that await for these writers. I’m currently looking for a series that I can get behind, so if you know of any other interesting authors, please let me know.

Until Next Time…

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