Define Yourself, Redefine the World: A Guided Journal for Black Boys and Men (2012), penned by Brandon Frame of The Black Man Can, is a powerful journal specifically designed for Black boys and men to engage in critical thought and reflection. In the 284 pages of the journal, Black boys and men have an opportunity to create a vision and plan for ameliorating their own lives in their own language. Never has there been a personal journal produced solely for Black boys and men. Through this journal, they are provided with space to express their thoughts on a range of issues and respond to essential questions. Powerful quotations from accomplished Black men have been carefully selected and masterfully deployed by Brandon Frame to inspire critical thought.
An extensive body of empirical research has evinced that Black male students throughout the educational pipeline academically underperform all students. In the face of this reality, tools must be available to militate against the factors that contribute to Black male academic underachievement. Define Yourself, Redefine the World: A Guided Journal for Black Boys and Men is one of those innovative and valuable resources we need to help Black boys and men to progress academically, professionally, socially and personally. The issues and questions they will confront in the journal offer them opportunities to face what they must do to make a significant change in their lives.
Too many Black boys and men are allowed to read and internalize negative narratives about themselves—primarily verbal and written narratives from Whites who do not wish them well. Harper (2009) contends that Black males must have the opportunity to tell their own narratives in their own voices to offer meaningful and necessary counternarratives to the dominant extant narratives about them—the dominant narratives about them are mostly untrue, demeaning, and racist. Through this journal, Frame empowers Black males with opportunities to write their counternarratives.
A growing body of professional literature demonstrates that mentoring Black male students leads to higher academic achievement and motivation. Frame’s journal equips those who mentor with a resource that can be used to aid them in the process of transforming the lives of Black male students. For those who mentor Black men, it gives them a tool to facilitate proper guidance and support.
Black fathers and sons now have a serious means through which to share and learn from one another. I envision this journal helping to form Black male virtual and non-virtual communities and spaces where important ideas, challenges, problems, and solutions are discussed, shared, envisaged and implemented. Additionally, I can see multifarious conferences and think tanks developing from those who read and use this journal.
I highly recommend this journal. It can be purchased here: Purchase the Journal Here. For only $15.00, you could save your own life and/or the life of a Black boy or man by buying this journal.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Young black men, unaware and at the highest risk of HIV/AIDS (thegrio.com)
- IU Press to publish new journal on black masculinities (iupress.typepad.com)
- Hey America! Can you please stop killing our (usually) innocent Black male children now? (dailykos.com)
- Single Black Female- The Epidemic (nubiansisters.com)
- “The Hunt is On, and Brother, You’re the Prey” (jackandjillpolitics.com)
- Are black boys endangered? (jsonline.com)
- Premeditated Manslaughter: Notes From a Black Male Suicide Survivor (gawker.com)
- Minister dedicates life to mentoring young black men (chicagotalks.org)
- The “Acting White” Myth (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Why do Blacks student not enroll in immersion programs? Avoiding acting White? Probably not (daveporter.typepad.com)