I’m certain that at some point we’ve all heard the phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover”, which is great advice I’ve always tried to stay mindful of, especially regarding people. However, that was not the case when I stumbled upon the books featured here today. As I recall the time I came across them in my haste and excitement at a yard sale, my thoughts were not only that I was getting a great bargain for $1, but I was also intrigued by the covers which sparked my curiosity. In this particular one shown above, my hope was that it would reveal information that may be useful later in life. I’m not sure what I may have been going through at that time. I was obviously still young as well as a bit naïve perhaps. The second book (shown below), well let’s just say by the cover alone you can probably quess what I expected to find inside. Although both were great reads for completely different reasons, initially I was disappointed upon discovering that neither offered what I’d anticipated, resulting in a lesson why not to “literally judge a book by it’s cover”!
Not that I ever actually wanted to kill a boyfriend or think that I would have to, but lets just say I like to be prepared. The book basically revolved around a woman who abducts another female in an attempt at convincing her to help kill the boyfriend. Unfortunatly, circumstances lead to an interesting twist where suddenly the lives of the two women is in jeopardy after becoming best friends. Within the title it actually states “in ten easy steps”. During a time when consumer’s were overwhelmed by marketing strategies that convinced people certain tasks were easily accomplished in “steps”. Losing weight, how to quit smoking and even cooking meals to name a few. I found the book to be most useful by simply leaving it in plain sight on my coffee table. I loved the reaction when ever males visited. Be it friends or relatives on occassion, their responses were always interesting and somewhat humorous. My brother’s especially would say “you’re crazy as hell Toot-Toot” (my childhood nickname). When it came to a male suitor, it was obvious the book made them nervous (my various black widow tattoo’s didn’t help either). Only my brother’s or those close to me would inquire about the book. Others were afraid to ask and acted as if they hadn’t noticed it sitting there, eventhough I couldn’t help but notice their eyes repeatedly glancing at it while continuing to squirm in their seat. Most of them I never heard from again. Seemingly it was the alpha males (or those who thought they were) who were bold enough to ask about it or even go as far as to challenge me with questions that I always met with a witty response. Maybe that’s why I’m single now, lol. I was never surprised at all but did find their reactions as a whole to be extremely entertaining.
While Hung does in fact reference the myths of penis size and the endowment of African American men, it’s also a double entendre as the author writes about the times when black men were literally being hung from trees. I was surprised to find that he opens the book with a letter to Emmett Till, the young boy who was lynched in the 50’s for whistling at a white woman. The author spins a brilliant web to express how sexuality among black males is depicted throughout books, sports, movies as well as pornography. He reaches back to the times of lynching and the Jim Crow era writing about how black men were often disfigured by having their genitals cut off in an attempt of psychologically torture causing them to feel less inferior to other race groups. The author continues by sharing how African American men; when it comes to sexuality are often given the more dominent roles in film mentioning actors such as Denzel Washington as well as famous athletes often reffered to as “mandigo’s”, which according to the Urban dictionary loosely means “big black guy”. Overall Hung was a very enlightening read, offering a perspective I hadn’t given much thought until I began to adjust my mental lens while viewing men of my culture in society, particularly those of a certain social status.