Hill Harper is best known for his roles as an actor in the television cops drama CSI-NY and from films such as "Lackawanna Blues" and "He Got Game". Now a celebrity, People magazine featured him in their Sexiest Men Alive issue. But their is far more to Harper than his looks and he proves this in his inspirational book for young Black men, "Letters To a Young Brother" (Gotham Books, $12)
The book is based on the many questions he has received from young men who want to know his opinion on everything from playing video games to careers and relationship choices. Harper sets out the letters and his answers in a language that will speak to young men all over the United States.
"Young men today have been bombarded with images of wealth and success that tell them that buying the 'hottest' car or the most 'bling-blingin' jewelry is what they should be motivated by," he writes. "I want young men to have knowledge of the things that bring them true empowerment: education, a strong sense of purpose, compassion, confidence and humility, to name a few.
"Unfortunately it isn't always easy for them to speak openly with their family, friends and those around them. That's where I come in."
A graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, Harper is living proof that education is a key foundation for success, even in the field of entertainment, a field that attracts so many young men. Stressing the importance of honoring family, of behaving responsibly and making good choices, Harper shows how true success and maturity comes from a foundation of self-discipline.
Addressing the real problems in young men's lives, Harper talks to sons of single parents, discusses the pitfalls of debt and deals with topics ranging from sex, making money and developing self-confidence. While urging his young brother to behave responsibly, he doesn't pretend that he is perfect. Sharing stories of his own past mistakes, he shows how it is possible to recover from mistakes and regain self-respect.
Sympathetically and inspirationally, Harper speaks to young Black men in a language they will understand.