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Javier, R. (2017). The Psychology of Black Boys and Adolescents, by Kirkland C. Vaughans and Warren Spielberg: (Eds.). (2014). Volumes 1 and 2. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. $110.00 (Hardcover). ISBN: 978-0313381980. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 16(3):245-250.

(2017). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 16(3):245-250

Book Review

The Psychology of Black Boys and Adolescents, by Kirkland C. Vaughans and Warren Spielberg: (Eds.). (2014). Volumes 1 and 2. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger. $110.00 (Hardcover). ISBN: 978-0313381980

Rafael Art. Javier, Ph.D. ABPP

General comments

It is quite a courageous undertaking for the editors of The Psychology of Black Boys and Adolescents to compile such an important two-volume book geared at tackling such a thorny issue, whose genuine and sympathetic understanding has eluded many of us over the years. Through the contents of the two volumes, Vaughans and Spielberg managed to provide a window that allows a rare glimpse at the internal struggles of many Black boys and adolescents as they become men. It is a book that chronicles the vicissitude of what it means to grow up and develop one’s identity as a Black man in our society today, even at the time when the country seemed to have been at the verge of beginning to put aside the burden of its racial history by electing the first Black president. It is a history that has managed to have effectively kept Black Americans from benefiting from opportunities that have been promised and afforded to others, including new immigrants. However, judging by the results of the recent election and with the increase in xenophobia and racism, it is abundantly clear that the focus of the book is even more poignantly relevant.

It is interesting that the editors decided to focus on the critical developmental stage of adolescents and young adults, particularly since that period of development is crucial to establishing a personal psychology that can set an individual free to become a more active participant in forging a better personal destiny. It is an opportunity to shed the burden of the past in favor of an identity that demands of others equal and respectful engagement in the benefits and challenges our society has to offer and promises to all its citizens.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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