What makes this book, as well as, his previous book, The Beautiful Struggle, so important is the perspective from which Ta-nehisi speaks. Like him, I myself am a black male Gen Xer. For most of my young life I heard about the statistics regarding my kind dying at a young age. It was an ever present feeling that you either get caught up in the madness surrounding you or somehow escape to the other side that was just a Metro ride away.
This book is important because, whether you agree with it or not, now in our late 30’s to early 40’s, we have some things we need to get off our chest and this book provides that release. I applaud Ta-nehisi and others (notably MK Asante and Marc Lamont Hill) for shedding the labels placed upon us and speaking the truth about schools that for many are still separate and unequal, police overseers, and other policies put in place a long time ago to replace hope with despair in our ostracized communities.
I implore all black men especially to read this book. Women buy it as a gift for the brother in our life, father’s read this book with your sons. We know the BS that has been put in place to stymie us. It’s time we “kick in the door,” our families and communities are depending on us.