Walk Tall: Affirmations for People of Color
When I was writing Walk Tall back in 1992, I read a book about getting published. It stated that if your target audience is black, donít mention it. It wonít help your book and might even hurt it. Times change. Attitudes change. People change. We change them.
I didnít believe the author of that book (later editions no longer have the racist and defeatist advice). In my subtitle "Affirmations for People of Color" I said right up front what this book is and who itís for. Walk Tall went on to sell more than 100,000 copies and was in print for 10 years.
Now, Walk Tall has changed. This is a new edition for a new day.
Our childhood experiences affect our perceptions, behaviors, and choices even after we have grown up. If we suffered neglect or abuse as children, we likely will have difficulties as adults. We must discover why and how our problems developed to solve them. This type of exploration demands honesty, courage, and the desire to know the truth. Itís painful to acknowledge that the people we trusted when we were young mistreated us. And we probably will feel angry and victimized by what we learn during the therapeutic process. But that acknowledgment is only the beginning. Next, we must recognize how we have abused ourselves and others. This step of taking responsibility for who we are and where we are ultimately frees us from empty, self-defeating lifestyles. For when we take responsibility for our problems, we obtain the power to solve them.
Scores of self-help books have been written to help people overcome the scars of childhood trauma that manifest themselves in depression, addictions, and relationship problems. Walk Tall is designed to help people of color explore those issues and one more: racism. We need to examine the deep scars racism has left on our psyches if we are to overcome its effects. We must feel the hurt, anger, and grief, and then take that next difficult step, which is to assume responsibility for how we have internalized racist beliefs and unconsciously contributed to our own subjugation.
Iím not suggesting that we are responsible for the oppression we experience. Nor am I saying that we have control over racist people. Just as we canít erase what happened to us as children, we canít make racism disappear. However, through self-love and self-respect we can stop buying into negative stereotypes and stop acting like victims. We can own our power as strong, vital, and creative people. We can reclaim our sacred selves.
This is the message that brought the attention of Louis Gossett, Jr. and his Eracism Foundation. Mr. Gossett is dedicating the remainder of his life to spreading this message. I hope you will join him. (You can learn more by going to www.louisgossett.com.) Tell it to your friends. Teach it to your children.
I hope the daily messages included in Walk Tall provide you sustenance on your journey toward truth. Each reading ends with an affirmation to help you believe in yourself and your abilities. Read and write the affirmations to help change negative thoughts into positive beliefs and effective actions.