There are very few who aren't familiar with the old adage you are what you eat and the same principle must apply to a large extend to what you read. The word as a man thinketh in his heart so is he - still rings true .
As this year draws to a close rather than pontificate on the many areas within this the mental health sector that sorely need improving I am using my editors prerogative to kick off the expert opinion section by suggesting seven of what BMH UK view are the best titles that have been published in the last 12 months which we see as the best quality high balanced food for thought you could find anywhere around.
If you haven't bought your Christmas present yet them maybe it's not too late, just read our reviews below then if you're as persuaded as we are - go online and get yourself or your loved one any of the titles listed below.
We believe that all these titles are gifts that will positively impact and inform anyone who reads them.
So here are BMH UK's seven of the best black titles for 2007 -
1. What's wrong with being black - Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo
2. Layers of Blackness - Deborah Gabriel
3. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr Joy De Gury Leary
4. Taking a Stand - Gus John, the first black Director of Education in a UK
5. When We ruled by Robin Walker BSc (Hons) Econ, PGCE
6. Whiteness Made Simple: Stepping into the Grey Zone (Paperback) by Dr William (Lez) Henry
7. Reposition Yourself: Living Without Limits by Bishop T D Jakes
What's wrong with being black by Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo
Pastor Matthew asks the question - did you know that the black people built the first civilization? That black people built the pyramids of Egypt? That black people were the first people to know and teach arithmetic, geometry and astrology?
He continues - did you know that the black people discovered the use of iron, that black people invented modern cannons flying missiles, ship propellers, gas motors and automatic hammers? Sharing years of knowledge and research this book is a must read for anyone wanting to improve their mind and from what many who have read it have shared it a real boost to the spirit as well. This is definitely very good food for thought.
Layers of Blackness - Deborah Gabriel
The author proposes - why write a book about colourism - a term that is rarely used in public spheres and a topic that is equally rarely discussed in private circles? As a journalist who writes predominantly about issues that impact the African Diaspora, 'I am acutely aware that a great deal of attention is devoted by community leaders to addressing issues of racism that disadvantage black communities and in fighting for social, economic and political equality that is routinely denied to people of colour. But we never stop to examine the inequalities and prejudices that exist within our communities that are related to our skin colour'. A thought provoking and edifying read that will inform and enlighten the most erudite minds.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr Joy De Gury Leary
While African Americans managed to emerge from chattel slavery and the oppressive decades that followed with great strength and resiliency, they did not emerge unscathed. Slavery produced centuries of physical, psychological and spiritual injury. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can use the strengths we have gained to heal.
The commemoration of the bicentenary of the transatlantic slave trade act and the statement of regret for the trade by former PM Tony Blair have brought this issue to the forefront of our minds, which is where it should stay. Excellently written and shockingly forthright - this is a must read for anyone who cares about social justice.
Taking a Stand - Gus John, the first black Director of Education in a UK
John has been involved in education, schooling and youth work in Britain's inner cities since the 1960s.
Taking a Stand is a collection of his speeches spanning a 25-year period from 1980-2005. Reviewer have describe this book as containing a wealth of information and insightful observations about the effects of Government policies on black and other ethnic minorities in Britain. John proffers insights on a way forward out of the mire of political correctness, multiculturalism and diversity.
John traces the social history of politics has led to constantly changing political agendas and education policies that are purported to empower black students.
When We ruled by Robin Walker BSc (Hons) Econ, PGCE
In particular, the author answers the key question in Black history: How much documented history is there beyond the Slave Trade, Mary Seacole, and Malcolm X? In 713 pages that question is answered again and again with a vast array of evidence that explodes the widely held view that Africans were without historical distinctions. Reviewers have described this book as an remarkable about this work is that for the first time it dares to connect Egypt, and its cultural affinities, with Africa and its chronological timeline within the vast chronology (nearly 90,000 years) of African achievement.
With excellent full colour illustrations this is definitely one for all the family to enjoy.
Whiteness Made Simple: Stepping into the Grey Zone (Paperback) by Dr William (Lez) Henry
One of the greatest academic minds from our community – listening to Dr Henry is always and education and a joy. In this book Dr. William (Lez) Henry provides an alternative take on whiteness by demystifying its historical role and influence on human relationships in the world today. He considers the privilege of being racially classified as white and explains it from a black perspective suggesting, “Whiteness is the ever-present non-presence that moulds and shapes reality.” Rey Bowen, Learning By Choice!
Reposition Yourself: Living Without Limits by Bishop T D Jakes Bishop Jakes has been recognized by Essence magazine as one of the 25 Most Inspiring African Americans of 2007 and his latest book Lliving Life Without Limits has been described as a culmination of what God has taught him thought life, business, family, books and people. Learning from other peoples experiences oftentimes prove to be an invaluable shortcut to learning form your own mistake. One can’t but benefit from reading the lasted literary offering from this widely acclaimed leader, pastor, artist and entrepreneur but benefit from. Jakes covers financial, relational, and spiritual creativity, and offers reality-based plans for those seeking to make the years ahead even more productive. What an inspirational way to being the New Year. So why not go for it!
By BMH UK’s editor in chief.