Karen Hunter’s book “Stop Being Niggardly” loudly urges blacks to Stop all of the marching, all of the complaining and rise to action and fix what is wrong in our lives and our communities. This book is at its inspirational best when it talks about the “Quite Heroes” in our community and the need to “Write down the dream” in regards to setting goals and a plan of action. “Stop Being Niggardly” is filled with solid points to consider, statics to back up assertions and historical references for perspective.
Early on in the book Karen Hunter states that anger was her impetus for writing this book, and the book does reflect that anger along with her frustration in powerful lines such as, “I believe that black folks worry so much about what people are saying and calling us, but spend little time on what we are saying and calling each other and even less time on building out communities.”
Karen Hunter doesn’t just ‘Bring It’ when it comes to Black America, she also mixes it up with jaded Americans in general. When she isn’t lamenting on her life experiences she is calling a spade a spade. “People don’t know that a majority of Mexicans are of African descent.” Karen Hunter’s book deals with many topics and subjects, but she is deft enough to push people to embrace and value who they are. Karen Hunter knows that the truth tellers of the world are not eagerly received, but she shows true courage when she writes, “We complain about the images of us in movies, yet when we get an opportunity to produce movies, what do we put out: Soul Plane? And, sorry, I love your heart, Tyler Perry, but you’re part of the problem.”
In the book’s most thoughtful moments Karen Hunter speaks of Martin Luther King and his dream, and his lack of and action plan, but many of the points in her book line up directly with the philosophy of Malcolm X, especially on having an economic power base. Ms. Hunter’s book/guidebook cleverly covers many topics and it moves smooth and quickly. Often her book speaks of life instances where she had to humble herself, but at times the tone of the book is elevated.
“Stop Being Niggardly” also takes time out to present a historical perspective, “When filmmaking began, the assault on the black image was heightened. Birth of a Nation, praised as one of the best films ever made is a Ku Klux Klan– inspired movie depicting blacks as savage, childlike, and inhuman beings that needed to be stopped and controlled.” As an added bonus “Niggardly” contains a reprinting of Nannie Helen Boroughs’ book, 12 Things the Negro must do to Improve Himself, with a commentary by Karen Hunter. Karen Hunter deserves a large amount of credit when it comes to telling us all like it is. Stop Being Niggardly: And Nine Other Things Black People Need to Stop Doing is a good book that you need to have on your bookshelf, as it appeals to all races because truth knows no color, or boundaries.