Don’t Get Mad; Don’t Get Even; Get Ahead.

Christopher Matthews

Books by Dr. James Davisison, Ph.D, on African-American Struggles

PRISONERS OF OUR PAST: A CRITICAL LOOK AT SELF-DEFEATING ATTITUDES WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY
Through dialogue, narrative, anecdote and psychological theory, Dr. James Davison, Jr., a clinical psychologist and an African American who grew up in a ghetto, passionately puts forth his startling views about the self-defeating behaviours of African-American people. Dr. Davison acknowledges that it is harder for African-Americans to get ahead because of racism and discrimination in our society, but he also believes African-American people use these age-old obstacles as excuses for their own shortcomings. Furthermore, he asserts that defeatism is a cultural inheritance that many African-Americans embrace vigorously.
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SWEET RELEASE: THE LAST STEP TO BLACK FREEDOM
In this assessment of the problems and potentials facing African Americans, Dr. James Davison, Jr. argues that in order for achieving individuals to advance to the final step of freedom, they must break free from the mental shackles created by the black community.

The central theme of Sweet Release is that the forces that impinge most upon psychological freedom for black Americans come from within. Guilt for being successful, shame in reaction to the misbehaviors of race peers, demands to give back to the community, and accusations of trying to be white are just a few of the mechanisms that thwart psychological freedom for black persons. Dr. Davison argues that individual lifestyles, aspirations, even identities are constrained by the specter of racial unity. As a result, for black advancers, what remains to be overcome is not “the system” or “them,” but internalized community attitudes that put a choke hold on individual freedom.

Unafraid of controversy or candid assessment, Dr. Davison addresses these and other thorny issues with psychological insight while offering strategies to move beyond group constrictions toward personal freedom.
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