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The Skin We're In: Teaching Our Teens To Be Emotionally Strong, Socially…
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684859289, Hardcover)Psychologist Janie Ward has written an insightful and brave book about parenting African American teenagers. The Skin We're In addresses the gap between "black baby boomer parents" and their hip-hop children, offering sound strategies to help adolescents gain confidence about their racial identity and to recognize and resist racism. Ward's portrait of parenting in the post civil rights era is fair and unflinching. She suggests that the new racism ("being pulled over for driving black") demands a new approach. Resistance used to be in the street, but now it's in the mind, says Ward. As she explains, "The African American family can provide a safe and loving context--a home space--in which our adolescents can question the social inequities they see." Ward frames healthy resistance to racism in terms of four habits of mind (name it, read it, oppose it, replace it) that can be learned and practiced in the family circle. This model is illustrated with vivid, moving anecdotes and annotated parent-teen dialogues. Her approach urges parents to combine elements of the dominant culture and traditional black culture by drawing upon the rich legacies of social activism and spiritual and folk wisdom.
Ward also addresses challenges on the street and at school for teens including coping with sex, friendship, materialism and low expectations at school. Two compelling chapters focus on gender issues, for example, how to steer boys away from the "tough guy" or "player" stereotypes and how to guide girls to discover their unique beauty in our "light, long, and lean" culture. In Ward's view, race defines the parenting process for African American families. An illuminating guide to creating a confident and vibrant racial identity, The Skin We're In offers parents and educators counsel that is both streetwise and spiritual. --Barbara Mackoff
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:36:11 -0500)
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