Black Families

A Systems Approach (First Edition)
Anthony G. James, Jr., Editor
©2020, 306 pages

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    In Black Families: A Systems Approach, Anthony James convenes the voices of social scholars to examine the multifaceted nature of black family life. Grounded in family systems theory, the book provides readers with a unique lens through which to better understand the structures of, and processes within, black families. Through interaction with valuable literature and nuanced perspectives, readers learn to embrace a multidimensional perspective of black family life.

    The text begins by presenting theory, history, and methods of engaging in research with black family life. Chapters explore belief systems and contextual influences, including perspectives on fatherhood, the dynamics of military and interracial families, and the effects of mass incarceration on black families. The text examines family processes and structures, addressing racial socialization, marriage, divorce, interfaith relationships, and more. Readers learn about mental health and well-being from a clinician’s perspective and how economics and politics impact black families systems. The final section speaks to the future, with suggestions for expanding and improving research, practice, theory, and policy related to black family life.

    Featuring relevant social inquiry and scholarly perspective, Black Families is an ideal textbook for courses that explore family theories and diverse family systems and structures.

    Anthony G. James, Jr. holds a Ph.D. in human development and family studies from the University of Missouri. He is an associate professor and the director of the Family Science Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has authored/coauthored numerous scholarly book chapters and refereed articles in a variety of publications, including Handbook of Child Behavioral Issues: Evidence-based Approaches to Prevention and Treatment, School Psychology Review, Journal of Family Theory and Review, and Journal of Youth and Adolescence, to name a few.
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    "Dr. Anthony James has accomplished an extraordinary achievement by marshaling experts in our field in this much-needed publication on African American families. This text allows educators to move beyond a one-chapter summary of African American families by capturing the diversity that exists within their experiences. This text exemplifies the approach we should take when examining all racially/ethnically diverse families."
    Roudi Nazarinia Roy, Ph.D., CFLE
    Associate Professor, Area Coordinator, Child Development and Family Studies, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
    California State University, Long Beach

    "This edited volume provides a variety of voices examining Black families. I think it will be a valuable asset for courses on Black families, multicultural families, and family diversity."
    Lawrence Ganong, PhD, FNCFR, FGSA
    Emeritus Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Science and Sinclair School of Nursing
    University of Missouri

    "Dr. Anthony James has made an excellent, and much needed, contribution to the scholarly literature on African American families. In this 24-chapter book, Dr. James provides a thorough analysis regarding the history, belief systems, contextual influences, family processes, family structures, hidden elements, and economics and politics that individually and collectively shape the African American experience. In light of the many realities experienced by members of this group, Dr. James ends this tome by encouraging readers to look forward, thus honoring the various ways that African American families have demonstrated resilience and will continue to do so in the years to come. This book is a must-read for scholars, clinicians, teachers, program developers, clergymen, mentors, and laypersons interested in learning about, and better appreciating the immense depth, and breathe of African American life. Dr. James’s work provides an excellent model for anyone interested in using the strengths-perspective when studying the multifaceted African American family. This text is ideal for any course that examines the historical, sociological, ecological, cultural, economic, and political realities of Black families in America.”
    Cassandra D. Chaney, Ph.D.
    Professor, Child and Family Studies
    Louisiana State University