Salute to Fathers. (Ebony Bookshelf)

Article excerpt

GIVE your father or father figure a standing ovation this month. June is the month to honor the men who stayed, prayed and made a way for themselves and their families. Although much ado is made about mothers--and rightly so--not enough is said about the men who made a difference in the lives of their daughters and sons. All research says that Black children with strong fathers and father figures begin with a head start in life. Bishop T.D. Jakes has said that if his late father, who owned a janitorial service, hadn't swung his mop, he wouldn't be here today to swing his Bible.

So whether they are living or a precious memory, these remarkable men deserve all honor and praise on their day. To salute them we feature several books this month by authors who address the complex nature of Brothers.

SOUND THE TRUMPET! MESSAGES TO EMPOWER AFRICAN AMERICAN MEN (Judson Press, $14.00) edited by Darryl D. Sims features inspirational and instructional messages of encouragement for Black men from several prominent Black theologians. The book includes messages from the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Dr. Charles E. Booth, Dr. Walter S. Thomas and father and son pastors, Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and the Rev. Otis Moss III. The book openly explores many of the issues faced by Black men in society, such as fighting the wrong enemies, raising another man's child and living single.

BLACK FATHERS: A CALL FOR HEALING (Doubleday, $22.95) by Kristin Clark Taylor celebrates the role fathers play in their children's lives and encourages all African-American men to become a stronger presence in their families. Anecdotes from fathers that exemplify positive parenting are woven throughout the book, including some from her father and husband. She also offers suggestions on how fathers can strengthen their relations with their children. Clark is a journalist and the first African-American woman to hold the post of White House Director of Media Relations.

When Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father nearly 20 years ago, all of his fans asked, "What's Goin' On?" MARVIN GAYE, MY BROTHER (Backbeat Books, $24.95) by Frankie Gaye with Fred E. Basten provides those answers and tries to set the record straight about his brilliant brother's untimely death. Frankie Gaye, who died in 2001, reveals in intimate detail many personal anecdotes and behind-the--scenes accounts of the troubled singer's life from their childhood to the day of Marvin's death when he cradled the dying singer in his arms and heard his last words.

June is also the bride's month and a new book, THE AFROCENTRIC BRIDE: A STYLE GUIDE (Amber Books, $16.95) by Therez Fleetwood shows brides how to select the best bridal gown and silhouette to flatter every figure, how to choose the perfect accessories to complement the gown, how to choose bridesmaids' dresses and how to select the best styles for the groom and the groomsmen.

BROWN SKIN: PRESCRIPTION FOR FLAWLESS SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS (Amistad, $24.95) by Susan C. Taylor, M.D., a Harvard-trained dermatologist, is a comprehensive, culturally specific guide for women of color that explores the characteristics of skin and hair color, offers self-assessments, daily care routines, brand-name recommendations and patient-tested solutions. …