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Black Again

Losing and Reclaiming My Racial Identity
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"I was driven by the belief that if I wanted to go somewhere I'd need to be something other than Black."

LaTonya Summers was only six years old the first time she unconsciously tried to be "more white". Recollecting experiences from her childhood in foster care through to her life today as an Assistant Professor and mother, LaTonya examines how her perception of self was affected by internalized racism and led her to adopt white norms - influencing everything from her music and clothing choices to her speech and values. Join LaTonya in her journey of realization - how all those years assimilating, stretching and pressing for whiteness harmed her, and how, in a world that sees her as Black, it's about time she did too.

Discover how LaTonya has truly "made it" by embracing and endorsing the Afrocentric norms and values that have sustained her and her family better than any white picket fence ever could.
  • Published: Sep 21 2023
  • Pages: 224
  • 214 x 138mm
  • ISBN: 9781839973185
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Press Reviews

  • NetGalley reviewer

    "Black Again" is a significant contribution to the literature on racial identity. It serves as an indispensable resource for individuals seeking to understand better their racial identity, as well as for educators, counselors, and anyone committed to fostering a more inclusive and empathetic society. This book is compelling, inviting readers to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and heightened racial consciousness.
  • NetGalley reviewer

    Being one generation removed from the civil rights movement and growing up in the same era as LaTonya, I resonated with the book "Black Again." From her traumatic upbringing, the neighborhood of family, the desire to escape the harshness of realities, to believing that "whiteness" could deliver a route to freedom, she brings home the fact that life's circumstances can contort our views...She gives us a peek of her thoughts and lenses starting at age 4 till the present day. Her desire to "be free" in life over time became her "entrapment" of escapism. We all desire to be free. The revelation LaTonya reveals, by allowing us to see behind the veil of her life, is the emancipation to be free to be authentically ourselves! Black and proud!
  • NetGalley Reviewer

    Black Again is a deeply moving and thought-provoking exploration of Black identity development, framed through the lens of an individual who embarked on a transformative, life-long journey of self-discovery. The narrative is honest and vulnerable, as Summers describes the challenges of navigating a world that often tried to erase her Blackness. Anyone who has a desire to embark on their own journey of racial identity development or seek to understand the lived experience of another will find this book riveting, informative, heart breaking, and inspiring. What sets Black Again apart is Summers' willingness to confront her own journey with unflinching self-reflection, holding back none of the challenges and triumphs that shaped her. She explores both pivotal moments in her life when she felt disconnected from her Black identity, delving bravely into the reasons behind her detachment. Throughout the book, Summers' rediscovery of her Black identity is portrayed as a gradual and complex process. She seamlessly weaves in topics of power, privilege, religion, trauma, education, marriage, and parenting, each of which influenced and were impacted by her racial identity development. This emotional depth adds layers of authenticity to the narrative, making it profoundly relatable to readers from various backgrounds. "Black Again" is a poignant and illuminating must-read for anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of racial identity and the transformative power of self-discovery. The author's ability to navigate this complex terrain with honesty, empathy, and resilience is truly inspiring. This book is a testament to Summers own faith and power, the enduring nature of identity, and the strength it takes to reclaim one's roots.
  • NetGalley Reviewer

    LaTonya Summers powerfully delivers a deep and insightful look into her own life while making us face some hard truths about ours. This introspective deep dive makes us all consider our own blackness. With such a poignant look at her story, it is revealed that we are more similar than different. After reading this book, it is evident that we all want the same thing....to be accepted for who we are. With such raw admissions, Summers gives us a detailed road map of how freeing letting go can be and how reclaiming what is ours ensures the world knows that being Black is indeed a beautiful thing.
  • Dr. Rhonda Bryant, National Board for Certified Counselors

    Who am I? Dr. LaTonya Summers' book, Black Again, is a searing and moving memoir that walks us through the panoply of ancestors and her personal life experiences gloriously, painfully, and resiliently forged her into who she is today. Her powerful and eloquent insights take the reader on an ongoing journey that adds to understanding self in multiple and often conflicting societal and family contexts. It is a must read.
  • Dr Els van Ooijen, Therapy Today

    Becoming self-aware is an important part of counselling and psychotherapy training - however, until recently race and racism were rarely acknowledged. This accessible book can help everyone in the helping professions to become aware of how our socialisation can lead to (perhaps unwitting) complicity in ongoing racism. It is a welcome addition to the growing literature on decolonisation.