In this timely and important collection of personal essays, black men from all walks of life share their inspiring stories and ultimately how each, in his own way, became a source of hope for his community and country.
Reach includes forty first-person accounts from well-known men like the Rev. Al Sharpton, John Legend, Isiah Thomas, Bill T. Jones, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Talib Kweli, alongside influential community organizers, businessmen, religious leaders, philanthropists, and educators. These remarkable individuals are living proof that black men are as committed as ever to ensuring a better world for themselves and for others.
Powerful and indispensable to our ongoing cultural dialogue, Reach explodes myths about black men by providing rare, candid, and deeply personal insights into their lives. It’s a blueprint for better community engagement. It’s an essential resource for communities everywhere.
Proceeds from the sale of Reach will go to BMe Community, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building caring and prosperous communities inspired by black men. Reach is also a Project of the Kapor Center for Social Impact, one of the founding supporters of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.
About the Author
Ben Jealous is the former President and CEO of the NAACP and a renowned public figure with a broad national audience. He is also a partner at Kapor Capital, an Oakland-based firm that leverages the tech sector to create progressive social change. A Rhodes Scholar, Jealous has been on the “40 Under 40” lists of both Forbes and Time. In 2013 The Washington Post referred to him as “one of the nation’s most prominent civil rights leaders.”
Trabian Shorters is a social entrepreneur with over twenty years of experience in diverse fields including national service, technology, nonprofit, and philanthropy. An expert on using asset framing to address social problems, Trabian is best known for applying it to black male issues. In winter 2011, he launched BMe Community while serving as Vice President at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“There is a great need right now for more positive conversations about Black men in America. Reach is an excellent resource to guide those conversations. The men whose stories are shared in this book make a powerful argument for the value and grace of every human being.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu
"As Ben Jealous says in his introduction to Reach, 'We cannot imitate that which we have never seen, heard, or read about'—and I am grateful for these powerful stories showing us all the kinds of leaders our Black boys can grow up to be." — Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund
“Reach is more than a collection of individual stories. At its core it’s a book about choices, about how each one of us has the option to live a life with meaning and purpose.” — Ilyasah Shabazz, author of X: A Novel, Malcolm Little, and Growing Up X
“Energetic and inspiring . . . . This is a moving book that will motivate readers to join these agents of change.” — Publishers Weekly
“Inspiring stories of personal struggle and triumph.” — Booklist
“This book is seriously ground breaking. Not to mention addictive! I couldn't stop reading the essays and was especially taken with D'Wayne's and Yusuf Shakur's journeys of hope. It should be a requisite part of America's English curriculum." — Alisa Swidler, Town & Country
“A serious book of essays . . . . These powerful accounts will prove immensely useful for all readers who want to understand the titular points of living, leading, and succeeding.” — Library Journal
"This bold, illuminating and often surprising collection of first-person narratives is essential to understand the lives of black men in America. It reveals pathways, deeds and dreams that rarely make the news." — David Bornstein, author, How to Change the World
"The leadership that pours out of the pages of Reach is priceless. The lessons, the wisdom, the know-how of these great leaders will touch and transform the present as well as generations to come inspiring them to REACH for so much more." — J. Ivy, poet and author of Dear Father
Reach truly packs a punch . . . . I can definitely see it being a great gift for any young man on his way to high school, college, or post-college life.” — Terri Schlichenmeyer, North Dallas Gazette