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Bobby, Bruce & the Bronx: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess Paperback – June 7, 2016
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About the Author
Bobby, Bruce, & the Bronx: The Secrets of Hip-Hop Chess history book about Hip-Hop, chess and martial arts in America in the 1970s. It also contains a text book which allows the reader to learn what the author calls “chess notations and life equations.” This book will inform and inspire you, without the pseudo-cultish undervibes, this is the book for you! Are you tired of life kicking you in the sack and leaving you on the ground wondering how it happened? Would you like to learn to take control of your life for a better future?
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a series of essays about chess, hip hop, and martial arts and how these areas intersect. Banjoko draws upon his experience working in education with young people in the Bay Area. I like how he connects chess to deeper lessons and metaphors and strategies for living. Just the essay titles draw you in, such as "Heavy D, Hip Hop and Healthy Living" and "Raising a Samurai in a Savage Society." I would compare this book most to The Tao of Wu by RZA or The Wu Tang Manual.
The book concludes with different strategic worksheets and reflection questions. If you only like chess, this might not be the book for you. If you only like hip hop, this might not be the book for you. If you only like jiu-jitsu, this might not be the book for you. But if you like all three and if you like thinking about philosophy and education, then this is definitely the book for you.
In my attempts to better myself at helping children I have read a good deal from Tough, Duckworth, Kozol, Dweck, Seligman, Dawson & Guare, Daniels & Steineke, etc... . Adisa Banjoko belongs among these authors. Regardless of ones familiarity with or fondness for hip hop or chess the underlying idea here is for the reader to take an inventory, set intelligent goals, be strategic in striving to achieve them and work for them. This book advocates for youth to make wise decisions, explains the consequences of failure, and gives concepts to enable people to do so.
I found some of his claims are a bit overwrought, like if you don't get an education or learn a trade, "you are sure to fall into the trap of crime." However, I have seen Banjoko speak and know that his lapses into hyperbole are meant to create caution in the reader and fan the flame of his desire for the betterment of those turning the pages.
Where Dweck tells us that growth is capable, and Duckworth explains that through perseverance the anyone is capable of evening the playing field, and Dawson & Guare show that adolescence is a time where executive skills need cultivation as much as independence, here too is Banjoko advising the reader to learn from mistakes (our own and his), use strategy in our personal lives to better navigate our own board, and not to fall for traps set by others.
Lastly, this book is an easy read and very conversational. At times it might seem like a topic is straying but it always finds its way back to the point.
Following the body of the book, are a series of work sheets designed to give readers an opportunity for further application of the principles detailed in the book.
I recommend this for everyone, and for the youth especially, as Banjoko has translated lovingly, the language of truth, morality, and the power of ones realized potential, specifically for young people, as spoken to him through chess, jujitsu, and hip hop as art forms and as culture.
As an educator and someone who works with kids myself, I got many jewlez from this book that I can add to my daily practices.
Props to The Bishop for dropping this great piece of literature.