brainwashedMERRIAM-WEBSTER DEFINES BRAINWASHED as “A forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes, and accept contrasting regimented ideas.” Tom Burrell, a marketing professional with over 45-years experience wrote BRAINWASHED: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority  to share his unique perspective on the brainwashing of Black America.

Mr. Burrell used an advertising and marketing platform to show the reader how advertising shapes the attitudes and behaviors of society. This institutionalized negative strategy was simple – flood the airwaves with consistent, concentrated negative messages that tell and/or remind (both subliminally and/or openly) that there is something wrong with being Black and before long those negative thoughts will become second-nature.

He also writes about the history of a deliberate and strategic marketing campaign to disenfranchise African-Americans from the inclusion of a “Single society with two outrageously parts: one built on a vicious, governmentally sanctioned destruction of human freedom – all with the same history-making pen” of Thomas Jefferson. BRAINWASHED is about the brainwashing of not only Black America, but America as a whole.

BRAINWASHED addresses several topics, such as: Why are black and beautiful still contradictions? Why can’t we stop shopping? Why can’t we stick together? Why is there still disproportionately negative media coverage. These are examples of some of the conversations often discussed in the African-American community. Mr. Burrell takes a heartfelt and straightforward approach to dispelling these myths with  pertinent, timely, and for some eye-opening information.


  • “The disparities of news coverages regarding black lives and non-black lives . . .
  • We [African-Americans] “over-indexed,” spending disproportionate amounts in every product category related to cleanliness, . . . primarily to compensate for being historically stereotyped as dirty.
  • The greatest achievement was the conquest of the minds of most of the people of the world.” This quote by historian, John Henrik Clarke as he examined the propaganda which was central to the European domination of the planet in the 15th and 16th centuries.

There are many people who say, “Not another book about the struggle, issues, or victimization of black people.” For those people, until African-Americans are able to have honest dialogues and honest conversations with White-Americans, along with the respect of being heard and not silenced there will always be “these” kinds of books. BRAINWASHED was thoroughly enjoyable and will give you the opportunity learn at least one thing about African-Americans that you did not know before which will begin to dispell the myths of black inferiority.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Let’s BOND over BOOKS rates BRAINWASHED as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pgs) . . . Just the right mixture of content and pages.


JANUARY “Back to the Books” Award

Basic CMYKThe WINNER of our JANUARYBACK to the BOOKS” award is *THE TRUMPET OF CONSCIENCE by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peace and civil rights don’t mix. Aren’t you hurting the cause of your people? When I hear such questions, I have been greatly saddened for they mean that my inquirers have never really known me, my commitment, or my calling.” These were words that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. recalled being spoken to him by many who questioned his decision to publicly oppose the government’s policy regarding the Vietnam War. Dr. King wrote of this in his book, THE TRUMPET OF CONSCIENCE.

THE TRUMPET OF CONSCIENCE is a compilation of five lectures that Dr. King gave at the invitation of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) during November and December 1967 for the renowned Massey Lecture Series. Canada has had a long historical relationship with African-Americans throughout the period of slavery in the United States. It was the destination point for countless slaves brave enough to escape to “Heaven” (the code name for Canada).


  • “If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”
  • “Growth requires connection and trust. Alienation is a form of living death. It is the acid of despair that dissolves society.”
  • “When an individual is no longer a true participant, when he no longer feels a sense of responsibility to his society, the content of democracy is emptied.”

Each chapter is dedicated to a lecture in which Dr. King shared his thoughts on nonviolent protests and civil disobedience, the Vietnam War, as well as the role young people (black and white) could/would play in shaping the “new” America. These subjects of his talks still resonate today. Equally profound is that America is still embroiled in similar circumstances today, some 47 years later. In the five talked he discussed:

  • Race Relations – How much progress has really taken place for African-Americans since 1967?
  • Conscience of the Vietnam War – Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran…the names of the wars have changed, but the casualties, sentiments and consequences for many Americans remain the same.
  • Youth and Social Action – Young people are still struggling to adapt themselves to the prevailing values of our society.
  • Nonviolence and Social Change – Is this still an effective way to heighten awareness about change or an injustice?
  • A Christmas Sermon on Peace – His message was that in order to have peace on earth “our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation.” Is this still confined to a sermon or have we taken it out of the church with our actions?

Now more than ever, THE TRUMPET OF CONSCIENCE encourages you to do more and be more than you are today. Each one of us has the opportunity to be a hero/heroine because “our lives begin to end the day we remain silent about things that matter.”

Let’s BOND over Books rates THE TRUMPET OF CONSCIENCE as EASY & ENGAGING (150 pages of less)…straight-forward, light and to the point.

*This review was originally posted on February 8, 2014.

What’s the Matter with White People?

Default CoverWhat’s the Matter with White People? why we long for a golden age that never was  by Joan Walsh is very engaging and a real page turner if politics and history is your forte.

What’s the Matter with White People  examines the myths, stereotypes, as well as commonalities that were/are prevalent and allowed to run rampant in America’s past and present. Ms. Walsh primarily focuses on the relationship between the Blacks and the Irish at the turn of the 20th century, as well as discussing Irish “slavery” and the “Black Irish.” Black Irish is the name that was given to Irish people who either went or were sent to various West Indian islands during the 17th Century as indentured slaves.

A quote from a political figure  sets the tone for each chapter. The author draws from her own personal and professional experiences to paint the picture, tell the story and shed light on why some people behave the way they do. Each chapter reminds you of statements you may have heard before, but never gave it much thought; while providing plausible explanations for them. Ms. Walsh also exposes the underhanded tactics of some politicians &/or others of influence who pitted Irish against Blacks on a regular basis.

As a reader,  I found it very interesting that once the first Irish generation “moved up” out of poverty and assimilated into the mainstream they “miraculously” developed amnesia and forgot the pain, struggles and despair that they went through. They [Irish] blamed the Blacks for not having a work ethic, etc. like them, but failed to make the connection that the “ticket in”  was controlled by those in power deciding to let them in (skin color) and keeping others out (skin color).

The conclusion  that I came to was that all  immigrant groups have a starting point, we have more in common with one another than not, but when a wedge is thrown into the mix, most not wanting to experience that “pain”  (or whatever trigger) again will sell their soul and conscience not to be “one of them.”

Let’s BOND over BOOKS  rating: Medium read (151-300 pages)

Know Your Power

know your power-pelosi Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters  by Nancy Pelosi. What an  insightful, wonderful read!

Nancy Pelosi  gives you, the reader, just enough insight to show that although she came from a well-known influential political family, she earned every one of her accomplishments. The life lessons that are interwoven through the pages are like a needle being sewn through a piece of cloth – seamless. The reward for hard work, determination and the benefit of networking (Ms. Pelosi says that there is no secret sauce, but there is – it’s called who you know, NETWORKING)  led her to achieve the position of Speaker of the House.

Know Your Power  is inspirational. The writing style of the authors makes this an enjoyable page turner; while giving you a glimpse of 20th Century American politics. This book talks about a woman asserting herself in a male-dominated political environment. Not that you  didn’t know, but you, the reader, are invited to see the “real” Nancy Pelosi – the daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. It shows you what being in the right place at the right time can do for you, when preparedness meets opportunity can result in and knowing that when the door is opened for you, you must have the courage to step into your destiny/purpose in any industry.

Poignant Pearls of Wisdom:

  • I was for you not knowing who was in the race. Once I knew who was in the race I was for someone else. Listen carefully to the words and inflection, and don’t be misled by the response” (p.151).
  • There is power in the words: Be Ready” (p.100).
  • Our voices must always be heard” (p.95).
  • Failure is very silent, no one calls, and no one asks you what you think. Success, is very noisy. Your phone rings constantly, you’re the center of attention” (p.152).

What can inspire you  to hang in there, assess your weaknesses, capitalize on your strengths and strive for as much balance as your life needs? Only you can answer that, but Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters  can encourage you to be more, do more, live and enjoy the life you are born to have.

To read an excerpt from Know Your Power: A Message to America’s Daughters click on this link:

Let’s BOND over BOOKS  rates KNOW YOUR POWER  as MELODICALLY MEANINGFUL (151-300 pages)…just the right mixture of content and pages.

Permission granted from RandomHouse Publishing.