“Mama,” writes Brenda Richardson, “you taught me how a black woman could survive and prevail in this world…but because you never learned yourself, you couldn’t tell me how to make love work…I don’t mean any disrespect, Mama, but…now I have children of my own. And in a loud revolutionary voice, I declare to the universe: the pain stops here.”
Clinical psychologist Dr. Brenda Wade and coauthor Brenda Richardson ask their African American sisters to consider this question: “What lessons about love and intimacy were passed down from your foremothers to you?” In this provocative rethinking of the African American woman’s experience, the authors suggest that African American women share an emotional legacy that began when their ancestors were dragged in chains to the “New” World and continued as their descendants suffered through the violence and humiliation of the Jim Crow period and later racism. Indeed, they argue, the long shadow cast by these historical events impacts romantic practice, lives can be transformed once there is a true understanding of the power of inherited beliefs.
What Mama Couldn’t Tell Us About Love shows how important it is to grieve and make peace with this brutal history. As you will see in this remarkable uplifting book, it is possible to use the positive messages inherent in the African American experience to create a better life. Learn from the “Sisters Spirits”–well-known African Americans whose stories enliven these pages–as you move toward emotional freedom. Listen to the words of the spirituals interspersed in the text, enhance the coping skills and strengths your forebears harnessed to help them survive and prevail, and believe that emotional emancipation is your birthright.
Mama may not have told you all this in so many words–but there is no doubt that she would want to see you take these last steps toward freedom and abundant love.