Book Description:Something Good is the wrenching memoir of Simba Sana, the co-founder and CEO of Karibu Books, a major indie bookselling phenomenon and perhaps the most successful black-owned book-industry business ever. Sana, the son of a poor, mentally ill single mother, built Karibu into a nationally celebrated mini-chain based in his native city of Washington, D.C.—and then experienced its collapse and failure while also going through a personal bottoming out. Sana shows how his experience with Karibu jump-started his lifelong journey to better understand himself, human nature, faith, and American culture—which ultimately helped him develop the powerful personal philosophy that drives his life today.
Born Bernard Sutton in Washington, D.C., in the aftermath of the city’s riots over Martin Luther King’s assassination, Sana grew up in the cycle of poverty and violence that dominated inner-city life in the 70s and 80s. Although Sana’s drive and intelligence helped set him apart in the classroom, he still spent plenty of time on D.C.’s tough streets. As a result of being bullied and from a desire to gain respect, he became involved with boxing, first as a fighter and later as a manager. Sana’s academic success got him into college, where he began to evolve into a man whose life embodied contradictions: committed to self-improvement and self-discipline but irrevocably marked by the chaos of his upbringing; an emerging businessman who’s also an impassioned Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist; living the corporate life at Ernst and Young by day while leading radical consciousness-raising groups at night.
Building Karibu became Sana’s opportunity to bind the disparate elements in his life together. He was able to capitalize on his business acumen while also cultivating his racial and cultural consciousness. Ultimately, though, the divisions in his identity and his accumulated emotional wounds confounded his effort to overcome his business reversals, and everything Sana built—marriage, family, and business—was lost in an incredibly brief time. Sana had to rebuild his life, and his identity, and set out to do so in a way that focused principally on the meaning and importance of love.
In this memoir, Sana details his search for love and truth with startling and profoundly moving intimacy. Something Good is a personal story of immense power and insight that will appeal to anyone seeking to live a more fulfilling life, no matter where they’re from or what path they’ve taken thus far. Throughout, Sana is guided by Einstein’s dictum: The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.