Book Review: Go to School, You’re a Little Black Boy – 4*
I struggled a bit with rating this. It is unfortunate that more support was not put behind this book. He is such a great and accomplished man, but the book feels like it had a poor editor, and lacked weight to make it compelling. The style and composition of the entire book – the writing was too loose, it jumped around far too much, and it felt like it was missing sections. At the end, I felt like I learned a lot about the facts and I gained insights into what he was proud of, but there was a superficiality to it, in that it didn’t feel like he conveyed a lot of emotion in his writing. That is usually the fault of the editing team and the publisher. There were even basic spelling errors! His story is so compelling, and he was such a warm and personable person which did not come through. He deserved much better from the team that helped him.
There were a lot great stories though, and for that alone, it is a great read. Given the state of the world today, it is really important to read too. His experiences over the the past century of living in Harlem and Toronto/Hamilton are incredibly interesting. I think I had forgotten that he was a progressive conservative and I did not realize that he was a Bush supporter and admirer. He broke down so many barriers and he doesn’t shy away from recognizing the race issues in Canada and those that he faced as he represented the country on the domestic and international stages. He has an extremely unique perspective on the topic. It was also refreshing to read his progressive views – it was a reminder of what progressive conservatism used to mean, emphasizing that his most important value was that of respect. If anything, the book is worth reading just for that. It is not surprising that he is the GREATEST Hamiltonian and up there as one of the greatest Canadians overall. The world could use a few more leaders like him.
At the end of reading the book, I felt sad that his real stories seem to be lost now as he has passed away, and that so many will never learn from the many additional lessons he could convey.
He is still one of my idols though. He definitely had an amazing life and accomplished so much and I hope that his legacy lives for a very long time. RIP