In the tradition of his previous 23 TWP titles, Madhubuti's latest address, Tough Notes: A Healing Call for Creating Exceptional Black Men is a compassionate and steadfast beaconing of black men. Madhubuti, who has long discarded any desire for name-calling and blame-rendering, offers Tough Notes as much more than an antithetical diatribe of "the white man." What makes these notes tough is the prevailing air of protection and block-building, proactive as the purchase of a mimeograph in Chicago circa '67. At the invitation of Spirithouse, Inc., a Durham-based dropout-prevention organization and home to Big Drum Press (whose authors include Phillip Shabazz, r.c. glen, Howard Craft, and shirlette ammons): Madhubuti will tender his tough notes on Friday, Nov. 21, 6 p.m. at Lyon Park Community and Family Life Center, 1313 Halley Ave, Durham. 688-8111, (ext. 288), www.spirithouse.org.