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About The Book

A timely and important compilation of first-person accounts by black men—including some famous like Russell Simmons, Rev. Al Sharpton, John Legend, along with community leaders known primarily in their respective neighborhoods—this New York Times bestseller describes a defining moment in each of these black men’s lives which motivated them to give back.

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.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (February 3, 2015)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476799858

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Raves and Reviews

“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

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