Steve Harvey’s Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man is dominating the NY Times Best Seller list for the eighth week in a row. You know I get excited whenever an African-American makes the list. I get even more excited when it’s an African-American that people know is an African-American. (I’m thinking of Malcolm Gladwell. I’m happy for the brother, but the rising tide can’t raise all boats if most folks didn’t know he’s black!) So, back to Mr. Harvey. Maybe his book isn’t the most scholarly of tomes. And maybe he is cashing in on the Black-Women-Can’t-Catch-A-Man-Hysteria. (Hey, why should Essence have all the fun?) But it is always good to see the power of black women’s dollars measured in the marketplace.
All that said, I ran accross this article at the New Yorker blog, referring to the Harvey book as a “bizzare” bestseller. (Don’t ask me what’s so bizzare about it. This is the sort of book that was born to be on the best-seller list.) The thing that got my attention is that Harvey’s race and the race of his devotees isn’t mentioned. I know that black women are not the only women bowing at the Harvey oracle, but I know what I see on the subway. I’m aware that we are suppossed to be post-racial now that we’ve got Mr. O in the white house, but Harvey has led a remarkable campaign in reaching out to black women and I would like to see us recognized as a significant buying block.
This still matters even if the book and the ideas behind it are a little bit silly. That’s a discussion for another day.