“This book is a must reading for anyone with even a casual interest in understanding how the subtle nuances of race, racism, and white superiority affect black identity development and contemporary race relationships, both among blacks and between blacks and whites as well. Dr. Watson provides a compelling and irrefutable argument that raises serious questions and doubts regarding the arrival of a post-racial era in the United States. After reading this book, the reader will never see race and race relationships quite the same!”
Kenneth V. Hardy, Ph.D.
The Eikenberg Institute for Relationships
Author of Teens Who Hurt
This powerful book breaks the silence on the black shadow and the myth of black inferiority. It will transform the dialogue on race and slavery in this country. Dr. Watson gives clear guidelines that can help black women, men, couples, and families to successfully challenge these myths and to transmit clear messages to our children. Readers will find hope in the struggle, and healing for the psyche and the souls of African Americans.
Nancy Boyd-Franklin, Ph.D.
Author of Black Families in Therapy
Facing the Black Shadow tackles the poignant and sensitive topic of internalized racism and the impact of the legacy of slavery on the functioning of Black men and women today. The book’s exploration of the role of history in forming expectations that impact identity and hinder the achievement of potential are themes that resonate with all people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, ability or sexual orientation. For these reasons alone, Facing the Black Shadow is a book that is destined to impact the lives of those who read it.
Rona Preli, Ph.D.
Chair, Marriage and Family Therapy, Fairfield University
Facing the Black Shadow is forthright and honest, and at the same time caring and empathic. It shines a revealing light on the experience of the African American in its all its humanity – its strength and its vulnerability with an insight that I would find hard to discover in any other writing. It comes from the understanding of a clinician and therapist, and the sensitivity of a writer who also speaks from the heart. It puts the Black experience in the context of history, and in the inner world of the human psyche. But this is not just a book that uncovers what is hidden; it is also a book about healing. The conceptual clarity and the poignant stories come with pointed challenges to face the pain, share the wounds and act to discover strength and potential. This is, of course, a book for the African American, but it is also a writing about life that has something of value for every reader – a chance to better understand your neighbor as well as yourself.
Harry Aponte, MSW, LCSW, LMFT
Author of Bread & Spirit
A magnificent contribution, this book lays out the paralyzing effect of internalized racism as the monster that people of color must come to grips with. No effect is left unexposed while making it unquestionably clear that facing this monster is primarily our responsibility and must become a priority.
Boston College Graduate School of Social work
“Facing the Black Shadow” by Marlene F Watson is an honest and semi-confessional book that brings to light the plight of African Americans. Most of the topics that are taboo to discuss like slavery, the ghettos, N-word and self rejection are dealt with honestly by the author. The author is also an African American and a family therapist which has enabled her to go to the psyche of many such people who dislike their color and detest living in their bodies. The book takes us deep into the world of African Americans who are looked down upon because of their dark skin and how they struggle to make it among the fair skinned. It also talks about the wounds caused on their psyche due to the behavior and attitudes of the people.
“Facing the Black Shadow” fills your mind with empathy for all the African Americans. It makes us look at them with a whole new perspective. The intensity of their feelings has been dealt with very well. The book also has the author’s personal stories plus some interesting stories and therapy sessions. Self hatred and self blaming has been dealt with understanding in the book. The author also gives some steps for healing for the people to come out of their own shadows and face the world with a positive attitude. The book is motivating, inspiring and uplifting. The book also has a Self Rejection Quiz and some family exercises. The book ends on a positive note affirming transforming, self healing and finding inner peace.
Reviewed for Readers’ Favorite