Sunday Collection: 5 Books Every Black Man Should Read Before 25
#3 No More Mr. Nice Guy
Your free edition of The Sunday Collection. Download our iOS app to listen to audio book summaries of some of our favorite books here.
Welcome to The Sunday Collection
Sundays are for books.
We’ll be highlighting a book or a collection of books we think will help you strive forward in life.
We’re starting with five books every black man should read before 25.
Our second book was on The Power of Habit; read it here.
Book #3: No More Mr. Nice Guy, by Robert A. Glover
I wrote a bit about this book before in this newsletter here.
Its repeat appearance is a testament to the value this book holds for all men.
We live in a space where there aren’t many explicit positive depictions of masculinity that society projects.
What we get are nice guys.
Raised by women.
That hold contrasting beliefs to please the public sphere.
Nice guys are only a piece of what they could be.
They, I, Us, are on a constant guard of our nice guy tendencies that lead us to a downward path.
To get what we want, we have to ask ourselves who we truly are.
Why should young black men read this book?
In cultures & societies, behaviors change over generations of time. The black community has changed a lot since the 60s, too, very much in line with that.
The principles of masculinity have not changed.
The conditioning has.
But where some things have gotten better, other things have steadily been hard.
I was raised in a home without a father. That’s not an uncommon thing for black people (and all Americans more and more).
Nearly 70% of black kids (2018 CDC source) know what I'm talking about, so I know I'm not alone.
We all know how hard it is for single mothers to independently raise one, two, or even three + children.
Research tells us, children of single-mother homes — not just based on race — have a more challenging time overall.
“After controlling for single motherhood, the difference between black and white crime rates disappeared.” - Progressive Policy Institute, quoted by Fix Family Courts
63% of all youth suicides, 70% of all teen pregnancies, 71% of all adolescent chemical/substance abusers, 80% of all prison inmates, and 90% of all homeless and runaway children, came from single mother homes. Bob Ray Sanders, “Hey Y’all, Let’s Fill The Hall (Of Fame), Ft. Worth Star Telegram, Oct. 28, 2007
Not Having a father in my life did put significant burdens on my family. It did create a sense of desire to seek masculine images to cope with the void of a father in my life.
Having a father that abandons you, is split up from you, or due to death or prison.
It all leaves a hole in young boys growing up.
If this is never faced, it can lead to a road of self-doubt and cynicism.
I’ve written a longer post on my medium page about how i went from a depressed college dropout to a software engineer working at a large public company.
But the nuance of what the book talks about and the struggles of life tell us that getting a nice job will not make you happy.
It’ll make you comfortable.
But probably not happy.
Because primarily happiness comes within.
It comes after careful inspections of yourself because you care about what you do, say, and become through those decisions.
What’s the Takeaway?
Dr. Robert A. Glover hits you right on the head with truths and wisdom.
How you act may be an act, how we may be pleasing others based on old ideas.
Old ideas from childhood that we use to protect ourselves today from the harsh reality of our past that was not our fault.
When we deal with the pain, we have ways we’ve learned to defend against it.
There’s no one-shot kill for this kind of thing; it’s something to work on. Something that requires grace and a little bit more awareness every day.
The book opens the mind’s eye and is a boys guide to becoming a man.
Listen to our Audio Book Summary of No More Mr Nice Guy (2m 34s Listen) | iOS App
How I Went From a Depressed College Dropout to a Software Engineer (10m Read)