Book Review: ‘The Barack in Me’ makes young readers consider their future

From the title, I thought “The Barack In Me” was going to be 102 pages of praising President Barack Obama. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I’ve read those books before and heard the praises verbally to the point of it being repeti

From the title, I thought “The Barack in Me” was going to be 102 pages of praising President Barack Obama. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I’ve read those books before and heard the praises verbally to the point of it being repetitive. But from the book cover of a young man with an Obama scarf on his neck; Obama T-shirt on; and jeans, standing by a telephone poll looking inspired, I knew I was going to get into something deeper. And it was.

Whatever you’re reading now, add this to your list of books to read. Although “The Barack in Me” is geared towards young, Black men, it’s one of those short novels that pretty much anyone can relate to, especially the hip hop generation, the high school and college crew, the young Black Greek organization crowd and the drug-dealing crowd.

Miller takes on so many topics affecting the Black community: the thrill and downfall of making fast cash, peer pressure, haters of rap music and rap artists, video girls, self-esteem, virginity, fatherless children, promiscuity, how the Special Education system can tear up an otherwise intelligent individual due to mediocre reading skills, respect for elders, some of the quirky comments this journalist has received during interviews, and the controversy over the use of the b-word and n-word.

The language is conversational. Miller is neither preachy nor laidback. His opinions are strong, but he still leaves room in “The Barack in Me” for the reader’s interpretation. And for every anecdote and chapter he writes, he backs it up with President Obama’s quotes through various years, including Miller’s own tale of a conversation he had with a white woman on a subway train about how he should “feel good to vote for a Black man.”

Miller is also the author of three other novels, “The Trifling Times of Nathan Jones,” “The Game of Trife” and “Once Upon a Time in Harlem (F.E.D.S.).” Published by Mind Candy Media, this title is now available for pre-order and will release on August 18, 2009. For more information, visit mindcandymedia.com.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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