"It isn't how much you know about maintaining a positive attitude that's important, it's how well, and how consistently, you put that knowledge to use."These are the words of Keith Harrell, formerly one of IBM's top training instructors and now a popular speaker, trainer, and consultant. In Attitude Is Everything, Harrell teaches 10 steps for "an attitude tune-up" that "turns attitude into action." Some of these steps are identifying the attitudes that hold you back or propel you forward, reframing bad attitudes, building supportive relationships, and seeing change as opportunity. Harrell weaves his personal stories into the book, such as turning the disappointment of not being drafted by the NBA after college (which he had fully expected) into skillfully landing a job with IBM, even though he didn't have the qualifications and they weren't hiring at that time. In each section, he discusses an attitude concept, illustrates it with anecdotes, and teaches specific strategies for integrating it into your life--all in an easygoing, friendly, and motivating style. For example, the "Your Attitude Tool Kit" chapter opens with Harrell being notified in junior high school that he had to go to speech therapy for his stuttering, as he had for six years, and using affirmations to cure his stuttering on the spot. Then he teaches nine "Attitude Tools," explaining each one and showing you how to put it into action.
"It's a provacative yet quick and easy read; an hour at most. It makes for a good lunch discussion. I also believe that it would make a great graduation present. So, enjoy."
Black Genius edited by Walter Mosley, Manthia Diawara, and Clyde Davis. These essays are taken from a symposium held in New York University's Africana Studies Program, whose participants included gifted writers and thinkers from the upper echelon of African American achievement. The organizer, novelist Walter Mosley, writes, "The intent of Black Genius was to assemble a group of black intellectuals, artists, political activists, economists who have broken the visor and seen beyond the fallacies of race.... We wanted to present thestories of women and men who had made it in spite of the system." Farai Chideya delivers an on-point analysis of the media's misrepresentation of blacks and offers a blueprint for more upfront and behind-the-scenes representation in the newsroom. Critic Stanley Crouch body-slams the negroidal nihilism and black "gansta" mentality in rap music, while Angela Davis delivers a nightmarish assessment of the growing African American prison population. Others-- including Julianne Malveaux, Randall Robinson, Spike Lee, and Anna Deavere Smith--take aim at health, the film industry, Wall Street, and the state of African-descendant people around the world. [Review by Eugene Holley Jr.]
The Color of Our Future by Farai Chideya. In her penetrating crosscountry tour of the United States, gifted media star-on-the-rise and cultural critic FaraiChideya reveals how America's young people are deconstructing the white/Black definition of race and constructing a new pluralistic paradigm that encompasses the country's white, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and native peoples. Chideya shows us the trials and triumphs of several young adults who dare to brave the new multicultural world, including Earl, a New York City-born, Spanish-speaking, Chinese/Panamanian/African American college sophomore; Nicole, a biracial 15-year-old Californian; Jaime and Bubba, a persecuted interracial couple in the Deep South whose dead daughter was disinterred from an all-white cemetery because of her bloodlines; Beth, a Washington State blueblood and member of a skinhead organization; and B.J., a high school "wigger"--a white person who adopts black hip-hop culture (hence the derivation from the hated "n" word). Chideya also scrutinizes affirmative action, mixed-race census categories, and bilingual education with wisdom and accuracy beyond her years. "We do not obey the laws of race. We make them," she writes. "Now is the time for us to chose wisely what we will preserve about our racial and cultural history, and what destructive divisions we need to leave behind." [review by Eugene Holley Jr.]
Walking On Water by Randall Kenan. This delicious and diverse sampler of African American life culled from over 200 interviews by author Randall Kenan shows that the American idea of "blackness" is as vast as the United States itself and cannot be pinned down to simplistic sociological cliches. "More than a book of analysis," Kenan writes, "this is my book of soul searching. I am asking who we are." Crisscrossing North America, he visits some familiar settings--Oakland, New Orleans, and New York--and some unusual places (including Bangor, Maine, and Maidstone, Saskatchewan) to discover how everyday black folks deal with issues of race, identity, and nationality. From a black minister in Mormon Utah to a female judge in skinhead country to the state of blacks in the would-be-utopia of Seattle, Kenan paints a revealing portrait of a people whose presence and perseverance may forge a better America in the 21st century. [review by Eugene Holley Jr.]
Click here to critique this site.