“For decades I thought power was based on how much weight you could lift and how many men you could knock out. Now I realize anyone untrained can lift a dumbbell or break a jaw. But real power is when a man can navigate through the pressures of this world without succumbing to negative emotions. To feel something painful and not push it away. To cry, just cry. Like a man”. (Wilson, 200)
Cry like a man : Fighting for Freedom from Emotional Incarceration by Jason Wilson is an extraordinary book that covers the trials and tribulations he had to endure living in Detroit in the 1970s and 1980s. Wilson takes the reader on a journey and takes on and breaks down black masculinity and masculinity in general in a perspective that some might perceive as a sign of weakness and that’s being vulnerable to be more specific being unashamed to cry. He explains ways through his story to the reader and messages to young men on how to express their anger, fears, desires, temptations and so forth without being condemned, and straying from hope.
From the first chapter which grips the reader into a story about his grandfather’s lynching to dealing with a verbally harsh and absent father, it created resentment at an early age but it all worked together to shape Jason Wilson’s mission in life to take on challenges and come out with strength even though he felt all the pain going through it. Wilson used his love and trust in Yah (God) once he accepted the Christian faith to guide him through all the blessings and adversity. Even though he does use his Christian faith and teachings in the book, any person of any faith can empathize and appreciate his candidness and journey to becoming a better man. Furthermore, Wilson is the founder and president of The Yunion an organization that unites families and provides young boys with guidance and development so they become successful in any endeavor in their adult life. With that said, Wilson solidified his transformation to becoming a man of God and leader by encouraging and equipping young black boys in his program The Cave of Adullam Transformational Academy (CATTA) which he is the director of, and he gives them daily challenges that test them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually into manhood.
This book is well written and is a page-turner for the lessons he provides to the reader in terms of determination, overcoming adversity, grief, and happiness. Having said that, it all culminates to a great epilogue that brings everything full circle for the reader to know how his life is today with The Yunion and CATTA mentoring and guiding black youth to manhood. I’m glad I got this book for free, not saying I wouldn’t have purchased it because it’s worth every penny for the value it brings to not only young black men but men in general who hide behind a machismo mentality when behind that tough exterior is a vulnerability that is being held down, but that vulnerability will eventually become awakened when hardships happen, and the healing process will begin in order to become a stronger better man and human. I highly recommend this book and below I will show you some of the work Mr. Wilson has done to teach young black boys in Detroit to become the man he and they want to envision.
My rating for the book : 5/5
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