Book Reviews

Article excerpt

Unforgettable: The Life and Mystique of Nat King Cole

Occasionally while "remotely" scanning cable TV's myriad offerings, I run across old reruns of Nat King Cole's late '50s ground breaking TV variety show. While the music is often hokey and tame by today's standards (my kids roll with laughter), what does remain timeless is that Nat, on top of being gifted with a golden voice, was one "smooth cat."

This well-written biography captures that and more. What the TV deftly hid and what the book brings to light are his many struggles with America's vicious, fickle racism. Despite his superstar status and his opulent California mansion, the powers that be couldn't let him forget his place as a "negro" in white-privileged America.

Grouse paints a sensitive, detailed portrait of the life of a true musical genius, an African-American original.

The Religion of Islam and The Nation of Islam: What Is the Difference?

The question posed by the book's title will be, in itself, a revelation in some quarters. El-Amin's straight-ahead approach defuses any allegations of bias. He uses the touted sources of the two entities being analyzed to construct his point-by-point investigation.

Covering such aspects as Revelation, God Concept, History, Judgement, Satan, Prayer, Fasting, Dress Code, and the Hereafter, El-Amin presents the teachings of the religion of Islam vis a vis the Nation of Islam and then lets the reader judge for himself or herself.

Critical Perspectives on Ayi Kwei Armah

While this volume may come off as a bit too scholarly for many tastes, its importance to the body of knowledge in the field of African literature should not be ignored. Armah's understanding of the political power of the written word is brought to the forefront. As one of Africa's most important literary figures, Armah's work merits such critical attention.

Why Is My Head Turned On Backwards?

Sharif Nadir has put together an intriguing collection of speeches in essay form structured around the theme that Divine truth is the bright light to wake up the sleeping giant--African-American people. He breaks down Qur'anic and Biblical teachings into everyday language and, in turn, he hopes, into everyday practice.

Color to Color: The Black Woman's Guide to a Rainbow of Fashion and Beauty

Targeted specifically to the African-American woman--with her rainbow of skin tones--Color to Color is designed to help women bring out their best in make-up, clothing, and hair styling. Complete with its own set of "before" and "after" makeovers, this book will surely peak the interest of image-conscious women. …