Dr. Smith-Ruiz Publishes a New Book on African American Families

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Contemporary African American Families: Achievements, Challenges, and Empowerment Strategies in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge Research in Race and Ethnicity series), Routledge 2016. Edited by Dorothy Smith-Ruiz (with Sherri Lawson Clark and Marcia J. Watson)

The book explores the multidimensionality of the black families in the United States, thereby challenging the decades-old perception of the African American community as one that thinks alike, acts alike and lives alike in poor and downtrodden environments. The thirteen-chapter book corrects this deficient and prejudiced conception with updated empirical research on African American family formation, schooling, health, and parenting across a wide spectrum of class and socioeconomic indicators. With new systematically-collated data, penetrating analysis, and policy-related interpretations, the cast of multigenerational contributors succeed in illuminating the persistent effects of the last recession and the troubling political climates on black lives. They also succeed in subverting much of the research resulting from Moynihan’s 1965 report, which arguably misunderstood the lived experiences of black people during the movement from slavery to freedom in a Jim Crow society. The book has been described as a “timely subversion of the myth that America is successfully in a post-racial era.” This multidisciplinary anthology offers promises as a text to think and teach with on the state of black families in the United States.