Alumnus self-publishes views about world

At the end of his new book “The Purpose of Human Life,” FAMU alum Clinton L. Black exhorts his readers to write and publish their own books.

For emphasis, Black exclaims, “If I can do it, surely you can!”

This is true. He did it. Black’s fourth book (all self-published) definitely proves that anyone can and will publish their own book.

Cramming 103 pages into 47 chapters, Black discourses, briefly, on the purpose of human life, death, crying, sex and provides a detailed scientific explanation debunking the myth of Santa Claus (more on that later). Presumably, some of Black’s more loyal readers were still grappling with the perplexing question of Santa’s existence.

While the book covers civil rights, racism, reality, physics, the existence of God and other weighty topics, its primary focus is ultimately Black.

Not surprisingly, the longest section of the book (eight pages) is devoted to Black’s autobiographical information.

Readers learn about Black in the third person here, as the author apparently has a phobia about referring to himself in the first person.

Black pitches his personal story as one of perseverance in spite of rejection. Black sums it up when he writes: “Accustomed to being laughed at whenever he introduces a new idea or takes ambitious actions, Clinton almost always prevails. Strangely, Clinton often expects discouragement and ridicule whenever he starts an unprecedented mission. Usually, it ends in accomplishment.”

Rousing stuff.

Black gives much of the credit for his successes to his college alma mater.

While at FAMU, Black boasts of writing and publishing his first book at 18, “The Best of Clinton Black’s Poems and Lyrics.” Black also reveals how some families in the his hometown of Marianna barred him from visiting their homes. This is not really explained, and like the gasoline explosion which prematurely ended his football career, or the revelation where Black laments his rejection for a date to senior prom “at every request,” there’s a sad, yet cryptic tone to it all. Perhaps he was overzealous in encouraging people to self-publish, even as a teen.

When Black dives into his hodgepodge of random subjects and thoughts, the book does not improve.

One chapter, entitled “Your Happiness,” comes in at a taut four paragraphs.

In it, Black asserts people’s happiness or lack of happiness is pre-determined at birth.

With his point established, Black throws in this nugget: “You should laugh 51 times a day.”

Why not 52? Black doesn’t say. It’s odd, because Black is quite precise with his calculations when he describes the fiery deaths of Santa’s reindeer, and ultimately, Saint Nick.

In the “Dear Santa:” chapter, Black poses the question: Is it possible for Santa Claus to exist?

Applying properties of physics, Black breaks down the amount and weight of Santa’s reindeer, the average speed Santa’s sleigh must maintain and the effect of 14.3 quintillion joules of energy rushing toward Rudolph. As Black puts it, “according to any child’s calculator.” Most children figure it out. Some, like Clinton, must have done the math.

This book is pretty bad, even by self-publishing standards. At least I’m finally convinced Santa’s dead. Thanks a lot, Clinton.