Artist: Hill HarperTitle: Letters To A Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny (Book)Rating: 4 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Danielle Cabell
Maybe all that taping of CSI: NY caused Hill Harper to miss the popular memo de stereotype: Young black men dont read. So devoting 173 pages of words to them probably isnt the smartest idea. Then again, actors arent exactly known for smarts are they?
Odds are, youll remember Harper from his role as the blonde-haired Black boy whos trying to come up in 1999s In Too Deep starring LL Cool J and Omar Epps. But that was a movie, fiction. In real life–in fact, Hill Harpers smart. Hes smart enough to understand that maybe the reason too many young black men arent minding books is because there arent too many books written with them in mind. And while it takes no degree from Harvard to Sherlock that one-one of Harpers one, two, three Ivy-league degrees hails from that university.
But fear not, Letters to a Young Brother (Gotham) aint about getting into Harvard, IQs or SATS. STDs, however, well, lets just say Harpers raw with his experiences in this book he candidly answers what he says, are all the questions I have been asked numerous times by young men. Despite much of the actors advice reading like common sense adages, its written with such a positive tone that one wont mind advice like Use school. Dont let school use you. From, girls, drugs, sex, the importance of education, consumerism, being-raised by a single parent, choices, money matters, dealing with other people, and everyday struggles Letters permeates with relevance for young brothers on the come up of manhood.
In one letter Harper writes: Standing still and going backward are no longer options for you and me, so you might as well get comfortable with being successful and unreasonably happy. Youre part of my crew now, and all of my crew moves forward in their lifes journey.
Enlisting Nas, Senator Barack Obama, NFL star Curtis Martin and actresses Sanaa Lathan and Gabrielle Union to join him in response to certain questions prevents Letters from becoming any part dogmatic while terse quotes from the likes of Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Ice Cube , Jadakiss, Andre 3000, Will Smith commence each of the 18 letters comprised within the books pages. Provided its read, Letters to a Young Brother will motivate-showing young brothas(ers) getting proactive isnt as much about preserving their sexy as it is about MANifesting their destiny.