cover image Reach: Black Men On Living, Learning, Leading, and Succeeding

Reach: Black Men On Living, Learning, Leading, and Succeeding

Edited by Benjamin Todd Jealous and Trabian Shorters. Atria, $15 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-476-799-834

This is an energetic and inspiring collection of short essays from an eclectic group of successful Aftican-American men. Contributors include an actor, a physicist, a musician, and a financial manager, and range in age from 20 to 78. As the essays unfold, so do a number of recurring themes: "hope is the saving grace"; education's importance to attaining success. Most selections touch on childhood mentors and share their encouraging words ("you can do this"). The essayists also share in common an unwavering commitment to help "change the narrative" about black men and success. In 40 different ways, they have found how to give back, whether by becoming mentors, starting organizations, or leading campaigns. Some stories begin on a gritty note, most notably one from motivational speaker Shaka Senghor, who spent close to half his life in prison, and emerged determined to help others. Without exception, the contributors are authentic and honest, even when recounting their lowest moments. This is a moving book that will motivate readers to join these agents of change. (Feb.)