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Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America by [McCall, Nathan]
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Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 246 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gripping and candid, this autobiography tracks McCall's path from street-happy hustler in a working-class black neighborhood in Portsmouth, Va., to a three-year prison term for armed robbery, a decision to rehabilitate himself, and his successful struggles as a journalist, finally reaching the Washington Post . In street argot, McCall mixes memorable, often painful description with hard-won insight: on how a teenage gang rape of a 13-year-old girl represented black self-hate or why his militant 1970s generation was unwilling to make the compromises that his stepfather made. It was in jail that a wise older inmate taught McCall lessons about survival between lessons on chess. ("The white pieces always move first, giving them an immediate advantage over the black pieces, just like in life.") McCall's entry into the middle-class white mainstream was not easy and he unsparingly details his difficulties and tensions with white newsroom colleagues, struggles with marriage and fatherhood, and painful visits back to his decimated Portsmouth neighborhood. Keenly aware of the tragedy of lost boyhood buddies, McCall offers no formulas, but warns that the new generation is even more alienated than his was. Film rights to Columbia Pictures; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-An autobiography that captures the pain, anger, and fierce determination of a black journalist writing today for the Washington Post. McCall's open and honest description of his life as a boy in a black neighborhood in Portsmouth, VA, his participation in violent criminal acts, and his eventual imprisonment for armed robbery seem somehow to be an expression of the rage of so many young people in America's urban areas. While imprisoned, he worked as inmate librarian and was so moved by Richard Wright's books that he became fascinated by the power of words and decided to become a writer. Though he's made a successful career against great odds, he makes it plain that he doesn't feel completely at ease with his peers in the establishment or those on the streets. His difficult story is told in such an immediate and compelling fashion that young people will be caught up in this strong narrative and gain real insight into McCall's growth and change and, thus, contemporary urban issues.
Patricia Noonan, Prince William Public Library, Manassas, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1172 KB
  • Print Length: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 26, 2011)
  • Publication Date: January 26, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004J4X6Y0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,689 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book some years ago and was more impressed then than now. Unlike most authors, Mc Call actually admits that he was a an active participant in a gang rape. To actually have such a violent and humiliating crime published in one's own autobiography, the author would have to be very honest, insane or a liar.
As hideous as some parts of this book, I still gave this book to my nieces, daughters and other young Black impressionable females who seem to mindlessly believe anything a Black man tells them. Some months after my adolescent niece read McCall's works, she confessed that she completely broke ties with a young man she had been dating because he showed a lot of Mc Call's tendencies. Some years later, this same young man has impregnated several different women, 3 of which gave birth to his children in the same week (while he was unemployed). Today, he is doing a life sentence in prison for violent crimes.
As disturbing as Mc Call's work is, I have used it for good. Every mother should know where her son is at night. Also, blaming white people for your problems is no reason for McCall commiting the same sins (color casting, rape and robbery).
Finally, if Mc Call committed all the crimes he claims, he should now publish a NEW novel covering his efforts at some form of victim restitution to the individuals, businesses and others he has violated in his past. Well, how about it, Mr McCall?
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Format: Paperback
How can Nathan McCall expect any sympathy from any person when he describes raping young women, young black women, and expresses absolutely no remorse? When he fathers children out of wedlock, and blames it on the women? When he cheats on women and tries to blame it on society. You're mad at the world Nathan, but it's everyone's fault but your own. Even beating a white kid half to death because he happened to ride a bike through your neighborhood is SOCIETY's fault. Oh please, break out the violins and give this guy a tissue to cry on. If you want to read a book that really covers this topic, read the classic Manchild in the Promised Land.
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By A Customer on October 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
McCall should have given his novel a more appropriate title. Instead of "A Young Black Man in America" it should read "A Petty Criminal in America." That's really all this book is about. I believe the "black" part got thrown in the title (and only minimally throughout the book) as a marketing technique to guarantee profits from Black readers.
I resent this book being classified with African American literature. It should be in the True Crimes section of any bookstore. Basically, McCall writes about his misadventures as an adolescent thief and rapist. He then grows into a full-blown adult robber, liar and ultimately a convict.
I won't even go into McCall's baby-breeding, child-deserter pattern. (Liz's mom had the right attitude towards Nathan during Liz's pregnancy. Go, girl!) The rape issues are well-covered by previous reviews. Even though I am Black, the opening chapter of McCall and his hoodlum buddies nearly killing an innocent white kid was nothing more than an attention-getter scene for the book, aside from a terribly violent act.
What's also awful is that McCall still can't provide the reader with an excuse for his thuggery. That's because most immature and irresponsible people blame others. McCall came from a very decent background therefore he can't blame his parents. AT an early age, he simply CHOSE to be a criminal!
Another thing! Why was this guy featured on a Barbara Walters interview? Why is he continually on BET as some sort of representative of Black America? His only contribution is his pair of books, both titled after Marvin Gaye songs.
Black authors, please let your "blackness" be your virtue and strength, not your weakness or excuse!
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Format: Paperback
Sometimes you have to stand up for stuff like that. I read the first third of this book, then pages here and there, and I was disgusted. I was digusted the same why as when I read American Psycho years later, but at least in AP's defense, it was FICTION. This book had potential, it could've been a real look at a system that doesn't care about the people that are in it, how he rose above all of this and achieved anyway. But Mr. Mcall seems happy just telling us how it's everybody's fault but our own, and "did I tell you the time I gang-raped this girl?" "Or how it was some girl's fault that she got pregnant, and I'm not taking care of it". This book marked my one and only failed class in college, I refused to finish it. I let my mother read some of it, and after she read about 10 pages, she completely supported my decision. There are much better books about the human condition, don't waste your time here.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book years ago as part of a book club. It made me sick then and it still makes me sick today.

This author, like Eldridge Cleaver before him, is a sick rapist of black women and girls. He and his friends used to run trains (forced group rape) on poor unsuspecting black girls in their community.

This is how sick the author is: He and his friends were going to run a train on a girl that was pregnant with his child. His reasoning: If she were sexually involved with other men (whether consensual or not) he thought he could deny the child belonged to him. He was leading the way (his friends were following in another car), but the girl, suspecting that something was up, JUMPED OUT OF THE MOVING CAR before anything could happen. Sickening!

He left behind a number of fatherless children. He stole and robbed before ending up in prison. He was emotionally disconnected from the child he did claim, who he pretty much abandoned for some time. He did drugs. He sold drugs. He shot a man. He did everything in his power to destroy himself and his community. The only thing this author did that separated him from a number of his friends is he completed high school.

He got out of prison and was given a full year scholarship to a local state college...just sickening. Our society is backwards. HIS VICTIMS SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED A SCHOLARSHIP TO SCHOOL OR AT LEAST GIVEN THE SATISFACTION OF KNOWING THEIR RAPIST GOT HIS. In fact, he ran across one of his victims while attending school and I can only imagine how the poor girl must have felt when she saw her rapist.

Somehow or the other this man is allowed to have a career at a well known university. He is allowed to prosper and write books. This book and his thoughts are PRAISED by critics.
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