Most people in America carry on with their lives either not knowing, not caring, or simply paying self-beneficial lip service to the crisis of Black men in America, as all politicians do when they need to solicit Black votes.
So-called American liberals are fired up at any opportunity to help the plight of rare birds, trees, elephants, or endangered whales. Yet, they lose their voice and their fight when it comes to helping the plight of America’s endangered Black males.
Then comes Kenny Anderson with the most powerful, profound book to be released, “Targets Of Oppression: Speech Essays On The Crisis Of Black Men In America.” Exploding onto the scene like a stick of dynamite, “Targets 0f Oppression” cuts through the maze of myths, lies, genocidal actions and inactions perpetrated against Black men living in America.
“Targets of Oppression” is a well written revolutionary counter-punch to all of those working towards the oppression of Black men in America, as well as a provocative wake up call to action for Black men and to others who value the lives of Black men. Thoroughly researched and documented, full of data and statistics, detailed when discussing events, and extremely straightforward; you will probably find it to be the most controversial book that you have read in a long time.
Anderson’s book is controversial only because he represents what has become an anomaly in America today. He is a strong, conscious, and caring Black man who is committed to our people’s historic struggle for self–determination in America; frankly and courageously speaking his mind on the pressing issues confronting Black men, and doing something about those issues in his own daily life.
Targets Of Oppression is a breakthrough book, not just because Kenny Anderson is one of my longtime personal mentors, a brilliant Black leader, thinker, and writer, which he is all of the above. The speech essays you will read in it stand out clearly as a chilling testimony to, and documentation of, Anderson’s central premise that America has waged a long standing campaign to neutralize and silence all Black men who share Anderson’s unyielding strength and uncompromising character.
While it is true that you can never judge a book by its cover, the shocking, eye-catching cover of this book, a Black man in the crosshairs of a gun scope with the American flag in the backdrop, does not mislead or over-hype its readers. Anderson’s political analysis is sharp and on point from cover to cover. His speech essays are clear and concise, not too wordy nor overly theoretical; they are very insightful, many drawn from practical experience.
There are three great qualities about “Targets of Oppression” that I appreciate the most: The first quality is the vast scope of the book. Anderson covers the Black male crisis in America from every imaginable angle, with vast amounts of information sufficient to make any novice nearly an expert on the subject of Black males’ issues after reading the book.
Black-on-Black male violence; Black male labor in the global economy; the absence and struggles of Black fathers; the Million Man March; the life of Tupac Shakur; police brutality, harassment, and the criminalization of Black males; the health crisis of Black males; the psychological issues of many Black males; the plight of Black boys; and strategies for Black males to use to empower oppressed Black communities, were all respectfully dealt with in Anderson’s frank talk style.
The second quality is the sincerity of the book. Anderson knows very well that most Black men love it when you express the facts about the oppressive ‘white man’, but hate it when you begin to do in depth critical analysis of all of the crazy, mean-spirited, self-hating habits and practices that we as Black men cling to daily.
As a people, we do not deal with criticism very well, and we do not practice self-criticism at all. In an attempt to break that mold, and stop us from repeating the same mistakes over and over again, Anderson keeps it real and serves up to the Black Community a large home-cooked helping of necessary and sincere criticism.
Instead of tiptoeing around issues that are widely regarded by people of all ethnicities throughout America as ‘taboo’, Anderson breaks them down and exposes their very core. That is why it psychologically hurts to read parts of this book, but you find yourself compelled to read on.
I myself was compelled to read on by the third quality - the sheer power of the works contained in the book. Many people will read Anderson’s speech essays and think to themselves, “why don’t I know any Black men like this?”
A further testimony to Anderson’s personal strength and flexibility is the fact that his speeches were given at Pontiac’s City Council Meetings broadcasted on television, and often time’s right in the faces of politicians, business leaders, and police officials.
Targets Of Oppression represents Anderson’s individual harnessing of the Black Power concept, preserved on these pages in order to promote the empowerment of Black men throughout America.
The book impressively personifies the very spirit of honor and duty that continue to compel him to: Speak out, critically analyze, educate, organize, mobilize, and advocate on the behalf of Black men.
Targets of Oppression is a must read book for anybody who coaches, mentors, teaches, cares and wants to understand the historical and contemporary challenges of Black men in America.
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