There are two titles in my collection that I would categorize under “Advice”:
Letters to a Young Sister by Hill Harper, and Women Have All The Power; Too Bad They Don’t Know It! by Michael J. Lockwood.
Of the two, I prefer Hill Harper’s work. He covers everything from self empowerment to relationships to overcoming obstacles. Harper begins every chapter as a letter, making it very personal to the reader. At the end of each chapter he includes an emailed question along with his emailed response, and, because as a man he cannot always adequately answer a “young sistah’s” questions, he includes the responses of other popular figures–i.e. Ruby Dee, Chanel Iman, and Tatyana Ali.
Hill Harper does a fantastic job of engaging the reader, speaking on relevant topics, and giving sound advice for the growing young woman. I picked up this book during my teens because I’d heard about his book Letters to a Young Brother that he’d published in 2006, and wanted to read something that was geared towards young women from a male point of view. Sometimes a young woman needs a question answered from the perspective of a man, and Harper does a good job of getting his points across.
Women Have All the Power is another advice book written to women from a man’s perspective. Unlike Hill Harper’s book, however, Michael J. Lockwood is writing to adult women. This book, dedicated to his three daughters, is Lockwood’s first and is very straightforward. He covers dating, sex, and understanding men. He challenges the “I don’t need a man” mentality that many women have come to adopt, and outlines the benefits of being a “piece keeper” (abstaining from premarital sex).
Lockwood’s no-nonsense approach is refreshing in a sense, but also has the ability to get a woman all in her feelings. He says things that are true, but that many women do not want to be corrected on.
Honestly, it has been quite some time since I initially read either of these books, and, being much older than I was when I first read Lockwood’s book, I might need to give it a thorough rereading.
In my next post I’ll be talking about the collection of anthologies I have collected throughout my educational career. They cover Shakespeare, American Lit., African-American Lit., and even a couple of student publications.
If you want to keep up with my posts as they appear, go ahead and hit that “follow” button in the panel on the right.