I was recently in Barnes and Noble to pick up a paperback copy of the book our 11-year-old needs for her literature class this upcoming semester. As I was looking for the title another book, on the subject of black women in American history, caught my attention. I was less than impressed with the some on list of names presented as worthy of emulation and consideration, but as I put it back on the shelf, the sign above the books caught my attention:
As I turned around to leave, I ran across another table of books. Included on those shelves was this title:
And a second volume:
Above another shelf of books was this sign:
By this point I was thorougly ntrigued and totally distracted from the purpose of my original foray into the young people’s book section. I spent the next 15 minutes carefully combing the children’s and young adult book section looking for something, anything that would indicate that Barnes and Noble had considered that there may be a market for books that encourage boys or manhood in any way. Here’s what I found:
As a mother of five daughters, one might assume it pleases me to see such effort being poured into making our daughters feel good about themselves. One would be mistaken.
On the contrary, I see every reason to be concerned about a culture that does nothing to promote positive, authentic masculinity and male leadership in its boys while encouraging masculinity and male leadership in its girls.