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The Life and Confessions of a Black Studies Teacher
TITLE: The Life and Confessions of a Black Studies Teacher
AUTHOR: Dr. Cecelia L. Hatshepsut Arrington
PRICE: $19.95, 352ppgs (2002)

The Life and Confessions of a Black Studies Teacher is an historical book of great social importance for those who desire to learn more about the individuals who fought for the inclusion of Black Studies in our schools and universities. It is a wonderfully written book by the woman personally chosen by Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party to be the first Black Studies teacher at Merritt College in Oakland, California.

Dr. Arrington writes poignantly about her early life in the racially segregated South and how her parents instilled in her the values and determination to overcome the deleterious effects of racism. She uses some colorful stories to describe the pain, humiliation, joy, and freedom she and her family faced living in rural Alabama.

I found some of the stories to be eye-openers for those who might not be familiar with the way many African Americans lived during the era of racial segregation. She articulates over and over the themes of education and religion as being the tools to overcome racism. One of the stories about an experience she had attending church was truly enlightening. She describes how she had been somewhat disruptive in Bible school and her punishment was to sit on the “Mourners Bench,” which was reserved for those who needed to cleanse themselves of their sins.

She writes that her childhood experiences prepared her to become the first Black Studies teacher at Merritt College. She shares the highlights of a successful teaching career at Merritt College and the frustrations and disappointments she faced fighting with school administrators to keep the department going.

This book is written with both a scholarly slant and personal development style. For a first time author, it is a strong beginning to a potentially successful new career as a writer.

This book is recommend for adults and college students.

REVIEWED BY: BYE Publishing Services Book Reviews

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