Book Reading Fellowship and Film Forum Fall to Winter November 2011

The Best Kept Secret Single Black Fathers” By Roberta Coles

Parenting and respect, along with so many other factors including role expectations and biases surface in this thought provoking book.

Here we have text and case study that exposes how society has a quizzical and sometimes presumptive second look at Black men raising children as the sole parent. If you’re not a “numbers person”, look beyond the statistics (The author readily admits to this small sampling).

Salary differences, gender, cultural differences, the age on onset of the parents/children, and support systems (both public and private) are factors that have an impact upon many single parenting households. However, Black men who fill both parental roles have been relegated as a marginalized subset of racial interest by many sociologists.

Look within the hearts of the men Roberta Coles profiles here, and see the children who have a parent that provides for and loves them completely. As Black men they have reinforced a strength of conviction and family which some of us already knew. This is an educational and enlightening book for some on many levels. A more comprehensive look could possibly invoke positive change and inclusive solutions to pressures, inconsistencies, social stigmas and prejudices single Black men who also parent experience in this society.

White Apples and the Taste of Stone” has an accompanying CD of Donald Hall reading his selected poems covering the span of 1946-2006.

“Shrubs Burnt Away” and the “Letters Without Addresses” Section is I think quite poignant and my favorite portion of this book. (Although the books’ title is a poem regarding his father which has an interesting beckoning power on Mr. Hall.)

As usual with poetry I find something new with each reading that somehow calls to me something slightly differently than the initial read through.

Gifting Selection

I enjoy giving books, film, and music as gifts throughout year, but especially during the holidays. I’ll provide periodic suggestions of some of my favorites you might wish to consider.

“Sacred Bond Black Men and their Mothers” by Keith Michael Brown is a wonderful gift book in my opinion. You’re sure to recognize some influential men and their Moms in this compilation of over-sized photos and narratives (e.g. Malik Yoba, David A. Paterson, and Dr. Benjamin Carson).

Peace, Diane

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