on July 27, 2008
In his latest book, LETTERS TO A YOUNG SISTER, Harper answers to the other half of the population not spoken to in LETTERS TO A YOUNG BROTHER - young women. Though he was inspired by a comment from a young woman of color, this book reaches across cultural and racial differences to speak to young women about issues they face growing up.
The narrator, Hill Harper himself, is writing to a hypothetical "young sistah," a young sistah who could be any young woman. The way Harper addresses issues like drugs, relationships, family life, and future plans for this young sistah is informal and unpretentious because of the medium he's chosen. In responding to questions and concerns from this young sistah, it is not a forced conversation or one set up like a customary teacher/student. In the beginning, Harper even admits that he might not have all the answers, but if he doesn't, he'll find a woman friend, teacher, or mentor who does.
Harper includes real emails with questions from real girls around the country, a great addition. In this way, sistahs get to see what other sistahs are thinking, feeling, and worrying about. This feature was also a great way for Harper to reach out and include some very influential women's responses to these emails - real women talking about their experiences as young sistahs.
Reviewed by: Erikka Adams, aka "The Bookbinder"