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Book Recommendations

Updated: Feb 7, 2019


Guest Contributor

Michael A. Lindsey, PhD, MSW, MPH



The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs

This biography describes the life of a talented young Black man who graduated from Yale, only to lose his life to gun violence and the illegal drug trade at age 30. Written by his college roommate, it shows a real appreciation for the struggles of urban youth to overcome the odds while navigating the difficult terrain created by family disruption, poverty, community, violence and unequal education.


Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting by Terrie Williams

Public relations powerhouse Terrie Williams revealed her own experiences with clinical depression in this honest and enlightening portrayal of the struggle to understand and address mental illness in the black community.


Soar: How Boys Learn, Succeed, and Develop Character by David C. Banks

Banks is president and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, which runs several public schools for boys age 6-12 in at-risk communities in New York and New Jersey. His book shows how the potential of Black youth can be harnessed when a commitment to them is coupled with service.


The Social Determinants of Mental Health by Michael Compton and Ruth Shin

This influential, scholarly book helps to characterize mental health as more than just an intrapsychic struggle, but one that is contextualized in the experience of community, family and policy.