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August 15th, 2012

Ten best books to read this summer

Chris Stevenson
There are a lot of good books out there. A Bible scripture says, “To the making of books there is no end” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). Some have misconstrued this to mean stop reading books! I say keep reading!

If you want powerful information as to how and why our streets are so dangerous today and who are the decision-makers behind these horrific events, then you came to the right place. Read on!

Eighteen Brothers and Sisters: A Memoir
By Seeta Bequi

A real-life coming-to-America story of a young girl from a large Indian family who rose up out of a controlling religion and spousal abuse to be a voice of empowerment for women.

Redeem Yourself: To Thy Own Self Be True
By Jerome Livingston, Jr.

Livingston, Jr.’s second book deals with the most feared word in the Black community today; change. He is an author and lecturer and, being from the streets of New York, he cites himself as valid proof that positive change can come.

The Resurrection of
Nat Turner, Part 1:
The Witnesses
By Sharon Ewell Foster

The mother of all Nat Turner books, expertly researched and written in the form of a two volume novel.
This is about the life, upbringing, assembling and mass-slaughter by Turner, the Black man that white historians still don’t know how to handle. Don’t always ask, “What would Martin do?” Learn when to ask, “What would Nat do?”

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of
Modern Urban America
By Khalil Gibran Muhammad

God created Blacks, but then who created Black criminality thousands of years later? Because as Muhammad puts it, this condemnation has become a “widely accepted basis for justifying prejudicial thinking, discriminatory treatment, and/or racial violence as an instrument of public safety.”

Spirit and Soul:
Odyssey of a Black Man in America
By Theodore Kirkland

Those of us in Buffalo, NY know this man to be one of our best storytellers, activists, talk radio hosts, and columnists. So it comes as no surprise to me that there was a book burning inside of him, waiting to be unleashed. Much of the history he writes was made or shaped by him.

Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority
By Tim Wise

The latest work from the self-described anti-racism activist, as well as author, lecturer and educator. This seems like it started out as one of Wise’s many long addresses to White America to point the finger at themselves when it comes to the race-blame, but inadvertently became a book. He leaves no room for those in denial, in the closet, or even openly liberal about race.

Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV
By Jennifer L. Pozner

As revealing a read about reality TV and the sick minds behind it as John Potash’s book is about the FBI and CIA’s war on political musicians. Television entertainment has always played a role in the shaping of minds for or against anyone or anything. At a time when Blacks, women, and gays have fought for more positive roles on prime-time shows, you’ll learn that when those gains are won, Hollywood considers it a setback. Meet the creators of the ideas that bring back the old stereotypes at bargain basement prices; Mike Fleiss, a former sports reporter who was literally frustrated by his being restricted to the facts. Mike Darnell, whom Pozner calls the “King of bottom-feeder reality TV schlock.” Michael Hirschorn, who actually believes the Minstrel Show called “Flavor of Love” serves a higher purpose. Reality show personalities Donald Trump and Tyra Banks use the same racial and sexist stereotypes to weed out people on their shows.
The tricks used to instigate the catfights of the “Real Housewives”, “Basketball Wives”, “Love and Hip Hop”, etc., border on torture enough to make Bush and Cheney envious.

Gains made by sitcoms that glorified Black women of all tones, shapes, and sizes in shows like “A Different World” and “Living Single” saw a setback when Hollywood carted out the attitude-problem Black female roles in the oddly-named “Girlfriends.”

Now along comes realty TV riding in to purposely smash whatever is left of women’s liberation. Houston, we have a problem.

The FBI War on Tupac Shakur and Black Leaders: U.S. Intelligence’s
Murderous Targeting of Tupac, MLK, Malcolm, Panthers, Hendrix, Marley, Rappers and Linked Ethnic Leftists
By John Potash

Picture a government so afraid of Blacks who express themselves freely that it will use the most effective and covert means to discredit them and eventually destroy them.

According to Potash, that’s how they harassed rapper Tupac until he was eliminated. Same story with Biggie. Twelve years of research by Potash exposes US intelligence networks spending an exorbitant amount of time spying on musicians from the hippy era all the way up to the pants-saggin’ era to track which ones have the most potential to make people think, and therefore come together and unite. Even the Twilight Zone couldn’t come up with a script that good, but it’s happened beneath our noses for decades.

What many of us thought was just a rap war based on internal beefs turns out to have originated with the real brains behind Death Row Records. No, not Suge Knight, the face of Death Row; the label was saturated with LAPD and US intelligence operatives. Knight, clearly, is never going to be anyone’s CIA agent, as his purpose was twofold; to end the truce between the Bloods and the Crips gangs in South Central Los Angeles in order to get the drug money and death going again, and to make sure these feuds appear to originate with rappers.

Several attempts were made on Tupac’s life, most of which the public at large doesn’t know about. It appears Tupac’s public bad boy persona was just a clever front he used to sell records. Behind the scenes he lived up to his Black Panther bloodlines by organizing Black youths and prisoners and awaken them to their real enemy.

The New Doubting Thomas
By Jeremiah Camara

Yet another book by JC (not that JC) on money-sucking preachers and religious hustlers from the man who brings you the stinging-but-humorous YouTube series “Slave Sermons.”

The New Jim Crow
By Michelle Alexander

This is the most talked about book around the country today. If you think racism is over because there is a Black man in the Oval Office, then you need to read this immediately.

Is mass incarceration a conscious payback by America for the gains achieved by Civil Rights? Why do southern states have vagrancy laws and how are these laws always seemingly pointed in the direction of Blacks? What part did the Reagan Administration play in the explosion of illegal drugs? These and other hard questions are addressed by Alexander.
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