The Skin We're In

The Skin We're In

Teaching Our Teens To Be Emotionally Strong, Socially Smart, and Spiritually Connected

Shepherding children through the demanding years of adolescence can be a struggle for any parent. But black parents must also help their children confront the psychological fallout of racism. With this in mind, Dr. Janie Ward, who spent fifteen years researching the moral and psychological development of African-American boys and girls, offers parents a comprehensive four-step program -- Name it, Read it, Oppose it, Replace it -- that provides strategies for healthy resistance to negative social influences and complacency in children throughout the formative years. Ward offers parents advice on such topics as:
  • Helping boys deal with and control emotions like anger, frustration, and fear
  • Encouraging girls to appreciate their growing bodies for more than just looks, and to develop a healthy sense of identity
  • Developing skills in teens that allow them to act effectively in social, academic, and business settings
  • Teaching children to resist the power of peer pressure from those in their communities who believe there is only one way to be black
  • Convincing teens that it is essential to develop their spirituality and participate in a spiritual community
Choose a format:
  • Free Press | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780684859293 | 
  • February 2002
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Read an Excerpt


It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.


Just a handful of years ago we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The footage that television news shows broadcast to commemorate the event was dated, of course, but the black children's faces, suffused with courage, dignity, determination, and spirit as they climbed the school steps toward equal education, opportunity, and justice, transcend time. As I watched them I wondered if, as a child, I would have been able to muster the kind of strength and hope that... see more

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