Souls Looking Back: Life Stories of Growing Up Black edited by Andrew Garrod, Janie Victoria Ward, Tracy L. Robinson, and Robert Kilkenny
Most of what is written these days about young black men and women emphasizes incarceration and mortality rates, teen pregnancy, drug use, and domestic strife. This collection of sixteen autobiographical essays by African-Americans, Africans in America, Afro-Caribbean and biracial college students who have tackled significant obstacles to achieve success and degrees of self-understanding offers a broader, more hopeful portrait of the adolescent experiences of minority youth. Here are emotionally honest and reflective stories of economic hardship, racial bias, loneliness, and anger—but also of positive role models, spiritual awakening, perseverance, and racial pride.
In these essays, students explore the process of self-discovery and the realization of cultural identity. The pieces are accompanied by commentary from prominent African-American scholars, such as Jewelle Taylor Gibbs and Peter C. Murrell, Jr. Together they create a vivid portrait of what it is like to grow up as a black person in America, and offer a springboard to current debates about self-discovery, cultural identity and assimilation.
Often raw and painful, always honest and affecting, this collection of personal stories written by young people stands as an eloquent tribute to the courage of today’s youth and to the power of their own words.