by Geoffrey Canada
The author of Fist Stick Knife Gun brings powerful new insight to the lives of boys in America today: "More and more I have become concerned with what boys think they should be, and what they believe it means to be a man." He lays out the little-understood history of drugs and their marketing to inner-city boys and takes a hard look at the issue of too-early sex, showing us, through a pointed story of his own sexual education on the streets, how the combination of age-old urges with new cultural forces and mores has created a volatile sexual terrain for boys. Canada writes indelibly of the young boy he once was and of the crucial issues ˇfatherhood, healing, mentors, self-esteem, faith, and more ˇthat must be negotiated as boys in America reach up for manhood.
Boys are conditioned not to let on that it hurts, never to say, "I'm still scared." I have come to see that in teaching boys to deny their own pain we inadvertently teach them to deny the pain of others. . . . We must remember to tell them, "I know it hurts. Come let me hold you. I'll hold you until it stops. And if you find out that the hurt comes back, I'll hold you again. I'll hold you until you're healed."
"Reaching Up for Manhood took me by surprise, because it is so tender, and so unpretentious, and so personal. It's a beautiful story, simply told ˇhonest, deeply sensitive, and morally empowering ˇby one of the few authentic heroes of New York and one of the best friends children have, or ever will have, in our nation."
Paperback: 160 pages