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Souls of My Brothers: Black Men Break Their Silence, Tell Their Truths, and Heal Our Spirits.

Souls of My Brothers: Black Men Break Their Silence, Tell Their Truths, and Heal Our Spirits Edited and written by Dawn Marie Daniels and Candace Sandy Plume, August 2003 $16.00, ISBN 0-452-28460-0

"Black Men Break Their Silence, Tell Their Truths, and Heal Our Spirits" reads the front cover of the compilation Souls of My Brothers. The book features more than 80 essays, many of them satisfying reads, but all of them deeply intimate musings cut straight from the thoughts, memories and viewpoints of a broad section of black men. Bus drivers and grassroots activists, corporate attorneys and world-renowned celebrities pen the selections in this book that act both as unapologetically male-centered commentary on the world and delayed reaction to Souls of My Sisters, released three years ago by the same editors.

Souls confronts the struggles of black men, the emotional and psychological mechanisms we develop to steel our souls against them and the spiritual resources we harvest to overcome them. Living up to his legend, Isaac Hayes beautifully sets the tone in a moving Foreword.

The book carefully treads into every facet of everyday life as lived by black males in contemporary America. But in the Daniels and Sandy missionary effort to carefully unpack and unclutter the complexities of black manhood, they compile a book that begs for subtlety. The authors clearly have a keen eye on repairing the dysfunctions that tear black families and communities apart. Unfortunately, in an effort to accomplish this, Souls sometimes reads more like a moaning spiritual instruction manual than an elevating anthology that quietly inspires introspection. The commentary between essays often gets unreadably sentimental and the dutiful question-and-answer sections at the end of each chapter are more likely to induce snores than encourage curative male bonding or transcendent spiritual journeying. Even with its shortfalls, Souls works as a great window into the hearts and minds of black men and even better as a compilation of biographical snapshots.

--Reviewed by Tanu T. Henry Tanu T. Henry is an editor at
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Henry, Tanu T.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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