Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Book Review: "Manhood" by Terry Crews

Funny, poignant, heartfelt and touching. These are not the adjectives I expected to walk away with before I began reading Terry Crews’ “Manhood.” Seemingly on a whim my wife picked up this book for me about a month or so ago and I let it sit on the shelf for some time. I knew of Terry Crews as an actor and beyond that not much else. Crews’ book is an amazing read and admittedly once I started I couldn’t put it down.

Crews walks us through his life, from being born in Flint, Michigan, to growing up with an alcoholic and abusive father, to his path walking on at a college football program to being a journeyman in the NFL, to his humble beginnings in Hollywood and beyond. Crews walks the reader through all of the ups and downs of his life and he had me engaged and wanting to read more and more with each page.

I especially wish a book like this had been written (and that I would have had the foresight to read) when I was a teenager. This is because Crews goes beyond making this book an informative biography. He gives an in depth and poignant looks at some of the most incredible issues that plague so many of our lives. From cyclical generational abuse to the pains, struggles and complications of addiction, Terry Crews was unbelievably profound and as I said before, I could not put this book down.

I’ll come back to my point in the last paragraph that I wish I had read a book like this when I was a teenager. This is because Crews is, on the surface, what most men point to as an alpha male. From his physicality to his presence walking into a room, through every step of his life it seemed as if determination and gusto carried him to success. And beneath it all addiction was the slowly boiling pot of water that nearly destroyed his life every step of the way.

Previous versions of myself would hang onto the fact that I wish I had read something like this earlier in life, so that I could see a voice, an advocate, a symbol, of someone in Crews’ position standing up to challenge the cultural expectations of masculinity, and that I wish I had a role model like that when I was growing up. But at this stage in my life I am grateful that his voice talking about these issues exists at all. Mainly because it goes beyond an alpha male standing up saying “I have feelings too.” This book was about a man of God admitting that successful paths in life are not even close to being well manicured and carved trails. Crews explored on a personal level the devastating impacts that generational abuse can capture and destroy the lives they are apart of, but that they don’t have to continue on to the next generation, and that abuse can stop and end with the person in the mirror.

He talks about forgiveness, faith, love, pain and everything in between. Words written in this raving review pale in comparison to the messages Terry Crews explored and provided insight into for, “Manhood.” And I for one, believe that every male that can, should read this book for the awesome perspective Crews gives about what it means to be a male in our society. I for one am thankful that Crews wrote this book and I hope he has many more planned in the pipeline.

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