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Who's Gonna Take the Weight? Manhood, Race and Power in America.

Who's Gonna Take the Weight? Manhood, Race and Power In America by Kevin Powell Three Rivers Press, August 2003 $12.95, ISBN 0-609-81044-8

Kevin Powell, former cast member of MTV's first season of The Real World, compiled three previously printed essays for this book. Powell's essays focus on his stint at Vibe magazine, his admitted misogyny, and his disillusionment with the burgeoning face of hip hop. Powell intertwines anecdotal information about his life experiences throughout the book.

The essays are heavily laced with anger, remorse and angst, as Powell examines his life on microscopic and macroscopic levels. This examination, distilled to three disparate essays, is Powell's attempt to provide an agenda for empowering black men.

Although Powell's self-reflection is admirable, it falls short of its promise. In the essay entitled "Confessions of a Recovering Misogynist," Powell gives weight to the adage that we are all works in progress. Powell should be commended for bearing his soul, but the book does little to offer an agenda for change that cultural critics and hip-hop devotees can sink their teeth into. Rather it tells of one man's saga and his realization that the destination is irrelevant--it's the journey that is important.

--Reviewed by Kalyn Johnson Kalyn Johnson is a lawyer in New York and coauthor of The BAP Handbook: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess.
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Author:Johnson, Kalyn
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 2004
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