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February 20 , 2008

African American Core Values: A Guide for Everyone


Imagine a book that presents a systematic, common sense plan for African American advancement. Preferably, it would be composed of strategies that come from African Americans themselves. Best of all, it would contain wisdom that everyone could use to achieve well-being. Does such a book exist?

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Now think of a book that concisely surveys African American history from the time of slavery to the Obama presidency. Optimally, it would include compelling eyewitness testimony from people who lived through and influenced historical events.

How about a book that introduces readers to major figures in black literature ranging from Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, to Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, to W.E.B. Du Bois, Mary McLeod Bethune, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Malcolm X, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou. It would also include the writing and speaking of contemporary figures such as Marian Wright Edelman, Henry Louis Gates, Thomas Sowell, Magic Johnson, LL Cool J, and President Obama.

It's not easy to think of books that meet any of these criteria. African American Core Values fulfills them all.

That's why Glenn Loury wrote that African American Core Values contains "Wisdom...of profound relevance to all Americans." He added: "All of our young people need to read and reflect upon this invaluable book."

Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson understands that everyone can benefit from the core values that enabled African Americans to overcome obstacles much worse than those faced by anyone today. He wrote: "It is books such as this one that can help bring these values back."

Johnnetta B. Cole: "I was struck by the academic possibilities of this compilation. Educators, counselors and scholars would find it very useful. Having these ideas collected in one place and accessible would be very convenient for those who are speaking to, or working with, young people."

Andrew D. Washton: "A great piece of work. Every student, of every color, should read this. It should be part of the social studies curriculum."

James P. Comer: “It was a great idea to edit such a book, and a major contribution.”

Three books in one. Read, learn, live well.

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