Official Review: Our Two Societies by Andre Davis

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Kelebogile Mbangi
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Official Review: Our Two Societies by Andre Davis

Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 20 Sep 2017, 09:41

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Our Two Societies" by Andre Davis.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Have you ever read a book and felt like it was just what you needed? Our Two Societies proved to be that book for me. It is a non-fiction book written by Andre Davis. The book is based on the author's life experiences. The themes found in the book include racism, the black identity and the importance of education.

The book opens with a narrative of Davis' carefree days as a kid in Detroit’s Brewster Projects. After two men attempt to break into their home, seven-year-old Andre and his mother are left feeling shaken and unsafe. They soon move to one of Detroit’s best neighbourhoods. Andre makes friends with the kids in the neighbourhood. His friends are from a variety of backgrounds. This leads him to notice differences in social, racial, and financial backgrounds. He forms an opinion about what the black identity is. We see how this identity shapes and affects him as he grows. Davis then shares his experiences as a university student and as an exchange student in Japan. As he narrates these experiences, he introduces readers to two existing societies within America. One of these societies has positive values which mould its members into successful individuals.

The book's message spoke to me on a personal level. We are all stronger than racism. Unfortunately, black people are held back by their belief that they are victims. They hold this belief so strongly that they do not see the point in trying anymore. For example, why work hard at school when you will never be successful because of the colour of your skin anyway? The author challenges this notion. However, he does not refute the challenges black people face. He emphasizes the importance of building good ethics, developing positive behaviours, and obtaining marketable skills. Davis successfully gets this message across without sounding aloof or judgemental.

I was stunned by the amount of things I could identify with. Being a black university student in South Africa, I was able to draw so many parallels between my life and the author’s. This gave me an active interest in the book. As a result, my attention did not wane during some of the longer narratives. I think someone else without this vested interest might feel that these narratives drag on. Happily, the book is only 286 pages, and it is easy to read. It is divided into three parts and follows a logical sequence of events.

I noticed that most of the descriptions of the people who play a role in the book include a reference to their race. I feel this was contradictory to the book’s message that a person's values and ethics are more important than their race. To be fair though, the author usually used this reference to race to get certain points across.

Not everyone will relate to this book, but everyone can certainly learn from it. I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. Not everyone will be engrossed by it, but it is a fun, easy read with a message. I recommend it to young black people starting out in life. It made me think, and it gave me the motivation I so desperately needed.

******
Our Two Societies
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Post by kislany » 21 Sep 2017, 01:16

An excellent review. I am not sure that this book is for me; however, at less than 300 pages, I might pick it up simply to learn about other people living far away from me.

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Post by mumoscar » 21 Sep 2017, 03:39

Indeed we are all stronger than racism. I think the mentality people grow with acts like cancer in the end, it's not easy change. I like the recommendation for young black people because they should grow up being motivated.

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Post by kandscreeley » 21 Sep 2017, 07:20

I'm glad that you were able to so easily identify with those in this book. It does sound like it has a great message. I think it's probably okay to identify people by their race if you are doing so to prove a point. Thanks for another good review.
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Kelebogile Mbangi
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Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 21 Sep 2017, 11:19

Thank you for reading my review. :)
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KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!" - Dr. Seuss

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Post by geoffrey ngoima » 21 Sep 2017, 14:32

I feel for the challenges/prisons (of the mind) the black people (esp black Americans) face; this one sounds good. I'll be sure to get it soon. Another great review, Kelebogile
To posit that the war brings us closer to faith is a sleight of hand that makes fools of us all. "There Are Only Atheists in Fox Holes"~ Michael Carson

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Kelebogile Mbangi
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Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 21 Sep 2017, 16:19

Thank you Geoffrey.
"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!" - Dr. Seuss

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Post by CatInTheHat » 21 Sep 2017, 16:33

It's nice to find a book that we can relate to on a personal level.
Life without a good book is something the CatInTheHat cannot imagine.


Grateful to get the opportunity to explore new books with those in the OBC.

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Kelebogile Mbangi
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Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 22 Sep 2017, 02:51

Yep, I really enjoyed this book.
"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!" - Dr. Seuss

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Post by Quinto » 22 Sep 2017, 03:18

Good review there on emancipation. We all have the answers we need and a solution unique to us. We are richly ordained by God so we just need to believe and inculcate it in ourselves. And for those who have succeded, plow it back to our families and communities, for the greater good. Thanks for a wonderful review.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 22 Sep 2017, 14:26

Hi, Kelebogile Mbangi! Surely a book that is meant to deliver an important message.

You mentioned one helpful society. So there's that other one.

Thanks for sharing your experiences. I've had my share. Let's keep strong.

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Post by Elle Howard » 22 Sep 2017, 17:50

Very good review! I will be adding this book to my bookshelf. I can relate to the subject matter as it could apply to all minorities, including women. This book sounds very uplifting.
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Post by Cloe101 » 24 Sep 2017, 03:38

Very nice review. I like reading gangster novels and the challenges the minorities go through

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Post by ReviewerDiksha » 24 Sep 2017, 23:23

Congrats for an amazing review. You have brought out some very good points. I look forward to reading this one.

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Post by Kelebogile Mbangi » 29 Sep 2017, 04:21

ReviewerDiksha wrote:Congrats for an amazing review. You have brought out some very good points. I look forward to reading this one.
Thank you ReviewerDiksha.
"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!" - Dr. Seuss

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