A thorough, if extreme, proposal for making African-Americans self-reliant.

The Black Ten Commandments


A debut political book proposes new commandments for black America.

In response to Ossie Davis’ 1965 call for a “Black ten commandments,” Caligula has composed a regimen of activities he thinks will “provide a new standard of leadership—one that is not autocratic, doesn’t thrive on instability, operates in a more transparent manner, and disseminates a plan for the Black community.” Much of the book (the first 400 pages) is spent attempting to establish the economic, political, psychological, and spiritual context for black America. The commandments, when they finally appear, are presented as solutions to the myriad problems faced by African-Americans, explained both in their philosophical dimension and practical application. The concerns of the commandments, which retain a basis in Scripture, include setting proper priorities, rejecting white paternalism, refocusing on the nuclear family, reinvigorating the black church, and other goals that the author sees as strengthening the position of the larger African-American community. A mix of conservative faith-and-family initiatives combined with political agitation in the courts and support for black businesses, Caligula’s platform is essentially a rebranding of long-promoted improvement strategies articulated in a franker and more forceful tone. An Army veteran, Caligula uses U.S. military principles, including the Military Problem Solving Process, as a basis for both community- and self-improvement. He writes with clarity and confidence, though his idiosyncrasies are numerous and frequently distracting. (He spends a surprising amount of time discussing comparative mythology, for example, and insists on always spelling African as “AfriCAN.”) Though many of his complaints and criticisms about the relationship between white and black America are valid, the author holds some controversial opinions in regards to both mainstream Christianity (which he calls “Fascianity...biblical-based fascism akin to Nazism”) and the American political system (“Liberal foxes and conservative wolves are two sides of the same coin”). He is no fan of President Barack Obama (whom he calls a “selfish trickster”), and has little patience for what he terms “Black victim ‘excuse-aholics.’ ” It’s a tough love approach to say the least, one that will likely prove too tough for many readers.

A thorough, if extreme, proposal for making African-Americans self-reliant.

Pub Date: March 8, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4787-2705-7

Page Count: 538

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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