Book Review by Kam Williams, Esq.
The Little Black Book:
Black Male Survival in
Staying Alive & Well in an
Institutionally Racist Society
by Carol Taylor R.N.
26 pages illustrated
"The object of this Survival Manual
is to save lives - the lives of Black African
Males who are on the Endangered list in
this American society of ours.
I started writing out rules of survival
for my son, Larry, and I suddenly thought,
Why be selfish? Why not write out directions
for all Black Males living in
________Excerpt from the Preface
For young Black men, any chance crossing of paths with cops can mean a close brush with death. Almost on a daily basis, we hear of another case of police brutality occurring somewhere in the country in which state-sanctioned violence has been officially explained away as reasonable or justified when employed against an African-American male. Even the most seemingly inexcusable examples of homicide, such as the killing of Amadou Diallo in a hail of 41 bullets by a squad of reckless detectives in front of his own home, have been deemed to be fully in accordance with proper police procedure.
What then, can one do to ensure that a loved one not end up the next statistic? Unless, like Michael Jackson, you are inclined to undergo a radical blackendectomy, I heartily recommend reading a copy of The Little Black Book to anyone considering venturing outside while still inside Black skin.
This handy, pocket-size police encounter survival guide was strategically designed by its author, Carol Taylor, R.N., to fit inside a pocket or wallet for ready retrieval, if needed, God forbid.
The author, a mother and well-known
Next, the text turns its attention to preparing you for a potential legal situation on the street by spelling out 30 common sense rules of engagement, such as not to run or walk down the block with a wallet, cell phone, beeper or anything which might easily be mistaken for a gun when held in your hand. The book also contains blank spaces to attach a photo, and to fill in one's blood type, allergies and other medical information. Plus, in case of arrest, there are areas for a lawyer's name and number and for a relative to contact in case of emergency.
What makes The Little Black Book so valuable is, first, it's mentally prepping Black kids for how to behave in the event of a detainment by the cops. Of equal importance is that it is small enough to carry at all times, to be readily available at a moment's notice during any very tense confrontation with the authorities. In case a child is too nervous to think clearly, this priceless pamphlet could easily be the difference between a policeman's prejudice or misunderstanding quickly degenerating to a matter of life and death.
At $2 each, I heartily recommend buying this book in bulk and sharing it with any African-American teenagers you care about.
To order The Little Black Book, send a money order only to Carol Taylor, R.N.,
The cost $2.39 for each book, for five or more books send a dollar or two for postage.
To make arrangements for a book signing or public speaking engagement, call
The Urban Spectrum ___April 2005 27