Author John Head hit the nail on the head with his 2004 book, Black Men and Depression: Saving Our Lives, Healing Our Families and Friends.
Head, a 1999-2000 Fellow in the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Program in Atlanta, writes about mental illness and depression, subjects that at the time were little discussed among African-American men.
The book explores racism and depression, including the daily onslaught of microaggressions where black men are often — if not always — viewed as criminals by whites, black women and others. At the same time, black men are mostly unwilling to discuss these issues that affect their daily lives, as Head points out.
Ray Lewis, who won two Super Bowls rings as a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, has published his memoir, titled I Feel Like Going On: Life, Game and Glory,” in w-hich he discusses many aspects of his life, including the 2000 double murder of Richard Lollar, 24, and Jacinth Baker, 24, in Atlanta. Lewis was arrested for the murders but convicted of a misdemeanor. He paid the victims’ families a financial settlement.
Lewis, who played 17 years in the NFL, said he was present but not involved in the fight with Lollar and Baker outside of the Cobalt Club in Atlanta.
Lewis, who is considered the best linebacker in NFL history, also discusses meeting his father for the first time when he was 33.
The 255-page book sells for $26.99. Lewis is scheduled to appear at book signings in Miami, Phoenix and Boston. He will also sign books at the Politics & Prose Bookstore on Dec. 8 in Washington, D.C. Book signings will also be held at other locations at later dates.
When one black person calls another an Uncle Tom, it’s a you’ve-crossed-the-line insult, but not in the case of Josiah Henson, who was the model for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom in her novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” the book that sparked the Civil War. It’s not clear if Stowe or Henson ever met. Henson lived on a Kentucky plantation, where he witnessed his father beaten and maimed by the overseer after his father attempted to protect his wife, Henson’s mother, from being raped.
The younger Henson was eventually given the overseer’s job. Instead he, his wife and two children escaped the plantation, walking at night, sometimes with the help of Native Americans, to reach Canada. When he finally arrived in Canada, he kneeled and kissed the ground. He founded the New Dawn Settlement in Dresden. The settlement supported anti-slavery workers and boasted an industrial training school. He was later granted audiences with Queen Victoria and President Rutherford B. Hayes.
Henson didn’t know how to write but his son taught him. He wrote his own memoir, Truth Stranger Than Fiction: Father Henson’s Story of His Own Life.