It’s no secret that the African American community is in crisis. From health disparities and political injustice to crime statistics and a variety of social ills, it is a community teetering on the edge. Through personal stories and essays, Family Affair addresses this imbalance, offering insight on issues and topics that the majority of African Americans only talk about in secret. The goal: to stimulate dialogue that supports reflection, healing, and understanding. Family Affair comprises five sections representing the key features that influence the African American identity: History, Politics, Behavior, Beliefs, and Self-evaluation. The book showcases a wide cross-section of contributors representing various elements of the black community. Each section features at least one religious leader and one institutional leader, as well as many celebrities from the worlds of music and broadcasting, along with ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
From Publishers Weekly:
Starred Review. This thoughtful collection of short essays, addressing a wide range of issues and emotions facing African Americans, should become a well-thumbed nightstand fixture. Organized into five themes (family, culture, relationships, community and self), contributors range from celebrities like Isaiah Washington and supermodel Beverly Johnson to education administration authority Ontario S. Wooden and self-described "Black Male Teen in America" Bernard Harrison, a 16-year-old from Queens, N.Y. In the "relationship" section, actress Hattie Marie Winston pens a loving letter to her husband Harold, while documentary filmmaker Muta'Ali Muhammad confesses his ambivalence toward "modern black women." Another essay, by young writer Denise L. McIver, conveys her shock at being told to "go back to Africa!" ("My mouth dropped... I had never set foot in Africa"), while a few pages away Tracy Pierre delivers the strident poem, "I Am ... African / (No Hyphen! No Hype!)" Other essays lament the distance among modern African Americans ("We just don't seem to care as much about each other"), but this community-minded collection provides inspiration and reason for hope. Readers should resist the urge to read through these essays all at once; concise and thought-provoking, they deserve to be savored.
Robertson. Gill L.