Thrift Store Find: Man in Black

Ok, so finding this book isn’t very rare, but I came across this oversized copy yesterday (the fourth printing from 1976, “World Wide Pictures edition”) that notes “225,000 copies in print!”

I really like the exclamation point.

But it got me thinking: Do you think Johnny Cash’s Man in Black is the southerner’s equivalent of The Autobiography of Malcolm X?

Both books chronicle spiritual journeys in which the protagonists  overcome things in their past that shapes their lives. The men in both books are enigmatic characters that inspire devotion. (Insert your own comparison here.)

Of course, The Autobiography of Malcolm X is still in print. Man in Black is not.

For me, the thing about Johnny Cash is that he seems to live his life out in the open. Sure, he’s got skeletons in his closet, but the closet door is open and he doesn’t bother to shut it.

I think that’s how we should live our lives. We’re not perfect and it’s owning up to our imperfection that helps pave the road to freedom. I think Cash recognized that, and he found a faith that made the road easier to ride on.

And maybe that’s what all of us are looking for.

“But to me, there was no doubt in my mind why it happened. It was God’s way of telling me I was on the right track. I was working toward what I was put on this world to do: entertain people; be something worthwhile to them; be an example, be a good influence; stand strong; don’t compromise.” (page 244)


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