It is important to feed your mind information that is enlightening and empowering.


thanks its

Success Books Committee

for identifying these types of books and recommending them for inclusion on our

Success Books List.

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the following titles about African American success or written by African American authors to promote your success! 

For your convenience, we are participants in the Associates Program that enables you to purchase any of the following books of interest by clicking on the book title and you will be transported to the web site to conduct the actual purchase transaction. A percentage of your purchase will be paid to The African American Success Foundation in exchange for making this convenience available to you. While it is part of our mission to promote information that highlights African American success and therefore, books and authors addressing such issues, we do not specifically endorse any particular products and have no other relationship with other than that described above. 

Success Books



Standing Tall  

C. Vivian Stringer with Laura Tucker Crown Publishers 2008, New York

The AASF Success Books Committee selected Standing Tall ( C. Vivian Stringer with Laura Tucker, Crown Publishers, 2008, New York) for review based on our organization’s position on the challenges of promoting positive images of African-Americans in the media, both in the United States and globally. As you may recall, Stringer and her team at Rutgers University were the center of a 2007 sensational media event after a TV and radio host used vicious racist and sexist terms to describe the Rutgers team . I expected to get valuable insight for AASF readers on managing media and its impacts because of the exceptional manner in which Coach Stringer handled the 2007 incident. Not only does Standing Tall provide this insight, but it is also a well told story that is a compilation of the key principles for success in any endeavor


Achieving Economic Development Success: Tools That Work    


Harry Black, International City/County Management Association, 1991

Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times

Karen Grigsby Bates and Karen Elyse Hudson, Doubleday, 1996 

Basic Black is an etiquette book written for the African American community, particularly for people moving into new, often integrated situations--at school, at work, and in the community. Full of information about appropriate behavior at soirees of various sorts, from simple cocktail parties to formal dinners, and about how to plan parties, weddings, even tea parties, Bates and Hudson's advice also includes less obvious subjects such as maintaining family and community ties, taking pride in one's heritage, and coping with racial incidents at work. After an overview of basic rules, the authors cover communicating; life lessons; “Dating, Mating, and Begetting” ; planning events; and life milestones, closing with a Q & A section, do's and don'ts, a glossary, and a request for reader feedback.

Beating the Odds: Raising Academically Successful African American Males

Freeman Hrabowski III, Kenneth Maton, and Geoffrey Greif, Oxford University Press, 1998

Hrabowski leads a trio of University of Maryland scholars who describe their institution's science program to enhance the higher educational prospects of high-school-age black American men. (Hrabowski writes that his group is working in a comparable program for young black females.) The cornerstone of success, for anyone of any race, is family stability and support. For the nuances of this in the black context, the authors interviewed sons and parents, representing about 50 families, enrolled in an intensive college-prep curriculum in math and science. They extensively quote their subjects' experiences in child raising, separating those of the fathers, the mothers, and the sons. Summarizing their anecdotes, the authors endorse such time-proven attitudes as valuing achievement, reading constantly and widely, and working hard.

Black College Student’s Survival Guide

Jawanza Kunjufu, African American Images
(, 1998

Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu states that many African American students have not fully accepted the responsibility of being a college student. This book is a blueprint in choosing the most appropriate college, making the right decisions while there, and ultimately marketing oneself after graduation.

Black Enterprise Titans of the B.E. 100s: Black CEO’s Who Redefined and Conquered American Business

Derek Dingle and Earl Graves, John Wiley & Sons, 1999

In Black Enterprise Titans of the B.E. 100s, editor-at-large Derek T. Dingle looks more closely at the 11 individuals who operate America's very largest black-owned firms. Among them are the well-known, such as Jet and Ebony magazine founder John H. Johnson and Black Entertainment Television creator Robert L. Johnson, along with the not-so-well-known, such as auto dealer and former NFL star Mel Farr Sr. and “People's Banker” Emma C. Chappell. Touching upon an array of industries--ranging from media and music to food processing and construction--it presents these “passionate, proud and persevering” men (and one woman) in illuminating profiles that benefit from the magazine's long-range perspective. They show how both established and emerging leaders have used “imagination and drive” to battle “a lack of capital, diminished access, and outright racism” and still succeed on such a grand level.

Black Entrepreneurs in America: Stories of Struggle and Success

Michael Woodard, Rutgers University Press, 1998

That “race remains a critical and inhibiting factor for African Americans trying to initiate and sustain a business in all geographic regions of this country” is one of the conclusions of the author, who studied the experience of African American entrepreneurs in the U.S. Beginning with a summary of 200 years of African American entrepreneurship, Woodard then provides profiles of 12 entrepreneurs whose life stories are gained through in-depth interviews. The reader learns of the trials and challenges that each faced and gains an understanding of how the normal difficulties of starting a new business are magnified when it is an African American who is the entrepreneur. The author posits that African Americans still do not enjoy full economic rights in this country. Woodard concludes with positive instruction for those seeking to find success in their own businesses, and his insights will be helpful to many readers.

Black Excellence: African-Americans on Striving and Excelling

Sonya Tinsley, Peter Pauper Press, 1998

Black Experience, Strategies, and Tactics in the Business World: A Corporate Perspective: A Handbook for Professionals

Darrell Simms, Management Aspects, 1992

Black Families in Corporate America

Susan Toliver, Sage Publications, 1998

Black Folks’ Guide to Business Success

George Subira

This book takes a lay person on an insightful trip through the world of investments, business strategy, and financial planning. The title of this stellar guideline may be misleading as it applies to all readers, not only African-American guideline. The author has an uncanny insight into the credit world. He maps out strategies that are essential.

Black Student’s Guide to College Success, The

Ruby Higgins, William Ekeler, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1993

The book begins with a step-by-step guide to a successful college selection process and freshman year, offering insights invaluable to students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and athletic recruiters. Next, notable African-American men and women tell the stories of their own college careers, from admission to graduation, in 27 short, autobiographical essays included in Part Two of the book, “How I Did It”. The book also features a directory of more than 900 colleges and universities with information and statistics of particular interest to African-American students. The directory includes evaluations and listings of the most prestigious American undergraduate institutions, with detailed information on special programs and activities for African-American students, entries on historically Black U.S. colleges and universities and African and Caribbean institutions, and information on Black Greek letter organizations.

Black Student’s Guide to High School Success, The

Williams Ekeler (Editor) and L. Douglas Wilder, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1997

This book is designed and written specifically for African American junior high and high school students.  It is a step-by-step guide providing much needed strategies, tactics, and tools to help them create successful educational careers in school. From the editor and publisher of the Black Student's Guide to College Success, this guide contains contributed essays by fifteen educators (many from historically black colleges), supplemented by success stories of contemporary black high school students. It will help students to make informed choices, to deal with the challenges and obstacles to high school success both in and out of the classroom, and to complete their high school education. Each essay deals with a specific topic of concern to black high school students and is designed to motivate them to make intelligent choices about their education and their future and to develop pride and self-esteem.

Black Women in the Academy: The Secrets to Success and Achievement

Sheila Gregory, University Press of America, 1995

This revised and updated edition of “Black Women in the Academy” adds updated data on the status of Black faculty women, a forty-four-page bibliography, and a new chapter on the status of international faculty women from twenty different countries, to the only study of the decisions of African-American women to remain in, return to, or voluntarily leave the academy. Sheila Gregory creates a conceptual framework from economic, psychosocial, and job satisfaction theories to construct a model to explain the factors that affect the decision patterns influencing career mobility. She uses a survey of the members of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education to illustrate to what degree the designated variables predict decision patterns. Gregory's analysis focuses on the women who remained in the academy, noting that those who did remain were usually successful high-achievers who managed to overcome numerous obstacles involving career and family. The author also provides an outline detailing how to attract and retain talented Black women scholars, along with possible interventions that might help inter-institutional mobility.

Breaking Through: The Making of Minority Executives in Corporate America

David Thomas and John Gabarro, Harvard Business School Press, 1999

Against many obstacles, a few minority executives break through to the highest executive levels in corporate America. The aim of the authors is to explain the processes of growth and advancement that produce minority executives by focusing on three companies that have been successful in developing people of color from entry level to executive. Concealing the identity of those companies in different industries, the authors examine both the individual and the organizational factors influencing minority promotion. Along with a detailed explanation of their research and findings, the authors offer lessons for minority aspirants as well as guidelines for corporations that want to develop minority executives more effectively. Advice to individuals includes building a network of developmental relationships, analyzing the record on minority promotions of a prospective employer, and understanding that race matters but that it alone doesn't determine fate. Their final counsel is that the road to the executive suite must be worth the price extracted from all individuals, especially minorities.

Children of the Dream: The Psychology of Black Success



Audrey Edwards and Dr. Craig K. Polite, Anchor, 1993

The authors offer a worthy glimpse into the world of black success. Martin Luther King's ``I Have a Dream'' speech embodied the hope that America could truly be a land with ``liberty and justice for all.'' The ``children of the dream,'' the authors say, are those who have lived that hope, and their stories, punctuated by psycho/sociological analysis, make up this series of vivid docudramas. Edwards and Polite begin with the black entrepreneurs who emerged out of slavery--such as Madame C.J. Walker, who, selling black beauty products door-to-door, became the country's first black millionaire in 1916. But, the authors point out, it wasn't long before ``separate but equal'' segregation was imposed on the ``free'' black population, proving itself a vicious institutionalization of racism. Only with the 1954 landmark ruling of Brown v. Board of Education were the racist assumptions of segregation effectively shattered. With integration came the hope of education: and a new world of opportunity. The authors interview a wide variety of successful “children of integration”, documenting how they gradually made inroads into the “white” realms of higher education and the workplace (from business to broadcast TV). Though overcoming racism is a tireless battle, the authors say, blacks who not only survive but succeed are invariably those empowered by their own self-confidence.

Conversations: Straight Talk with America's Sister President

Johnnetta B. Cole, Anchor, 1999

In Conversations, Dr. Cole – feminist, educator, African-American spokeswoman – speaks directly to here younger sisters: American’s Black women.  She calls out to them to take an active role, as she is doing, to help make their world a better place. She speaks out on racism, sexism, Eurocentrism, and isolationism.  She makes concrete suggestions to help them break down the walls that hold them back.  Upbeat, optimistic, and inspiring, Conversations is for anyone who cares about improving his or her universe and making it a better world.

Doing It for Ourselves: Success Stories of African-American Women in Business

Donna Ballard, Berkley Publishing Group, 1993

Two dozen role models for black women in business speak for themselves about the joys and hazards of success. Few, if any, are recognizable names, like a Dori Wilson or an Oprah Winfrey. Some are just starting out; Lisa Cowan, a 24-year-old, talks about the risk in switching from one career (in bonds) to another (in management consulting). All acknowledge the difficulty of achieving success, admitting that it's often tougher to advance simply as a woman than as a black woman. The unifying factors among all 24 are, first, inordinate drives to succeed, and, second (and ironically), a dedication to career tracks that never quite run straight. Good words of counsel “You really have to be broader in thinking about who can help you accomplish your goals,” for instance, honesty, and succinct biographies help make this compilation appealing.

Dreamkeepers, The: Successful Teachers of African American Children

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Jossey-Bass, 1997

Ladson-Billings writes with three voices: as an African American scholar, a teacher, and a parent and community activist. Among the issues the author addresses in a readable blend of storytelling and scholarship are separatist education and culturally relevant teaching in content, presentation, and presenter. Current successes and future prospects for improving the school experiences of African American students are also addressed. Here is a book filled with pride and questions that should stimulate anyone interested in improving education.

Dream the Boldest Dreams: And Other Lessons of Life

Johnnetta B. Cole, Longstreet Press, 1997

Excellence Without Excuse

Charles Cherry, International Scholastic Press

Empowering African American Males to Succeed: A Ten Step Approach of Parents and Teachers

Mychal Wynn, Denise Smith (Editor), Rising Sun Publishing, 1996

Mychal Wynn outlines ten building blocks for working with African American males. From cultural understanding to developing an empowered consciousness this book outlines strategies and exercises for K through 12.

Fear of Success, The: Stop It From Stopping You!

E. Carol Webster, Privileged Communications, Inc., 1996

The Fear of Success was written in response to individuals we spoke with while marketing Success Management. Many people decided that the word “Success” did not describe them and their aspirations. “I'm not a success, I'll never be a success” or “I can't seem to get ahead” were statements we were given. Dr. Webster discovered that many of these individuals were taking themselves out of the game before they even had a chance to play. They had fears of being successful. They were afraid to speak in public, network, or travel alone, and rather than fight these fears they allowed them to control their lives and careers. This is especially troublesome now with all the 'downsizing' people have endured. After years of being in an organization, people now find themselves back in the job market, or facing the prospects of self-employment. These people cannot afford to let fear steer their course. The Fear of Success examines some of these fears and how to combat them, helping you realize the success you are capable of attaining.

From Stumbling Blocks to Stopping Stones: The Life Experiences of Fifty Professional African American Women

Dathleen Slevin, and C. Ray Wigrove, New York University Press, 1998

Pioneers in the work world, the women featured here “are models for young women of today who are just beginning the journey they have completed.” Now retired, they share their stories of survival and resistance with the authors, both sociology professors. The issues they consider include church, education, and the world of work.

How to Be: Contemporary Etiquette for African Americans

Harriette Cole, Fireside, 2000

Etiquette is more than knowing which fork to use. Good manners are the rules that let us find our way in today's rapidly changing maze of lifestyles, customs, and relationships. Anyone who doesn't know these rules is living and working at a real disadvantage.  In How to Be, the author treats manners as a resource for the empowerment of people of African descent. She offers guidance drawn from the tried-and-true experience and wisdom of our African-American elders, as well as from European mainstream traditions in many areas of life, including: Family -- immediate, extended, and blended; New codes of dating, love, and sex; Entertaining family, friends, and coworkers in both casual and formal settings; Workplace issues -- from how to resign to what to wear on casual Fridays; Rites of passage, including weddings and funerals
Holiday celebrations like Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Juneteenth and much more

How to Succeed in Business Without Being White: Straight Talk on Making It in America

Earl Graves, and Robert Crandall, Harperbusiness, 1998

Nationally recognized authority on black business development Earl G. Graves pulls no punches in his honest and inspirational new book, How to Succeed in Business Without Being White: Straight Talk on Making It in America. Aimed directly at African Americans struggling with the white-dominated corporate world, it presents a profusion of helpful suggestions drawn from Graves's 26 years experience as publisher of Black Enterprise magazine and a leader in numerous other minority-oriented business projects. A shrewd combination of self-promotion and solid business sense, this first how-to from the publisher of Black Enterprise magazine (and owner of the largest minority-controlled Pepsi-Cola franchise) does indeed have good advice to heed. In fact, his counsel supersedes race and extends, quite simply, to any individual trying to succeed. His multiple sets of commandments--from “Sell to their needs, not yours” to “Set specific financial goals” --are built on experiences he freely relates. Stories of a more personal nature, too, infiltrate the book, lending warmth and personality to otherwise mundane instructions. Best are his chapters identifying inspirational African Americans and the 10 greatest challenges facing black Americans.

Hustle Behind the Success of Black College Students

Jackson Spade

In the Black: The African-American Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children

Fran Harris, Fireside, 1998

Author Fran Harris contends that the African American relationship with money contributes to many of this ethnic group's social dilemmas. In this book of advice, Harris dispels common black misconceptions about money, such as “Too much money is risky/bad,” and “I'm supposed to be poor.” Her goal is to help African American kids develop healthier financial patterns, and she suggests teaching kids about money as soon as they can walk: explaining the difference between needs and wants, how to identify coins, and where money comes from. Preschoolers should have piggybanks and chores, Harris believes, and In the Black details ways to organize your family life to include them. Harris also addresses the issue of gang and drug money, and the seductive risks they present, even to tiny children. Information is provided on budgeting, banking, taxes, and investing, and how to handle stealing, losing possessions, allowances, and allowance penalties. In her chapter on teens, Harris focuses on rules, independence, and understanding, and gives specific advice about cars, phones, and credit cards. Chapters on family finance, entrepreneurship, college, and what to do “when they come back home” round out this excellent resource for establishing solid financial values in kids.

Mathematics Success and Failure Among African-American Youth

Danny Bernard Martin, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2000

Martin (mathematics, Contra Costa College) argues that prior studies of this topic have failed to contextually link sociohistorical, community, school, and interpersonal forces in meaningful ways. He addresses this problem by presenting his own model supported by research at a particular school. The model attempts to conceptually link mathematical content and curricula with the forces of mathematical socialization mentioned above.

New Color of Success, The: Twenty Young Black Millionaires Tell You How They’re Making It

Niki Butler Mitchell, Prima Publishing, 1999

Niki Mitchell writes a blunt and revealing set of portraits of young African American millionaires. Her writing captures the spirit of the young African Americans who are tackling capitalism and coming up winners without losing their souls. The New Color of Success is a must-read for those who understand that the challenges of the twenty-first century will be both DuBois's color line and the post-industrial dollar sign. The message: There are paths beyond sports and entertainment to reach the heights of success.

Our Separate Ways: Paths to Success of Black and White Women in Corporate America

Ella Edmonson Bell and Stella Nkomo, Harvard Business School Press, 2001

In Our Separate Ways, the authors take an unflinching look at the surprising differences between black and white women's trials and triumphs on their way up the executive ladder. Based on groundbreaking research that spanned eight years, Our Separate Ways compares and contrasts the experiences of 120 black and white female managers in the American business arena. In-depth histories bring to life the women's powerful and often difficult journeys from childhood to professional success, highlighting the roles that gender, race, and class played in their development. Although successful professional women come from widely diverse family backgrounds, educational experiences, and community values, they share a common assumption upon entering the workforce: “I have a chance.” Along the way, however, they discover that people question their authority, challenge their intelligence, and discount their ideas. And while gender is a common denominator among these women, race and class are often wedges between them. In this book, you will find candid discussions about stereotypes, learn how black women's early experiences affect their attitudes in the business world, become aware of how white women have-perhaps unwittingly-aligned themselves more often with white men than with black women, and see ways that our country continues to come to terms with diversity in all of its dimensions.

Sister CEO: The Black Woman’s Guide to Starting Her Own Business

Cheryl Broussard, Penguin USA, 1998

In her book, “The Black Woman's Guide to Financial Independence”, Cheryl Broussard gave African American women a much-needed lesson in taking control of their own lives through controlling their money. Now she takes readers one step further in this idea-packed, can-do introduction to entrepreneurship.

Sister Power: How Phenomenal Black Women Are Rising to the Top

Patricia Reid-Merrit, John Wiley & Sons, 1997

Activist and teacher Patricia Reid-Merrit considers common links among 45 stellar African American women leaders in such spheres as business, publishing, politics, and religion. Her engaging book delves into the experiences and environments that shaped them; how their commitment to community service was fostered; and what combination of talent, drive, and nerve carried them to the top. Like the quotes that showcase their opinions, these women are substantial, inspiring, and often gratifyingly blunt. Their ranks include civil rights activists such as the amazing Unita Blackwell; Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney; Marcia Ann Gillespie, editor-in-chief of Ms.; and Reverend Willie Barrow, who expanded the scope of PUSH beyond its legacy as Jesse Jackson's brainchild. Living and working in large metropolitan areas throughout the US, all of these women have significant influence in the areas of education, business, or justice.

Sisters of the Academy: Emergent Black Women Scholars in Higher Education

Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela and Anna Green (Eds.), Stylus Publishing, 2001

There are disturbing trends in the continued under-representation of African American women in higher education, especially their attainment of post-baccalaureate and graduate degrees. This is an issue of major concern nationally, for the Black community, and for leaders in higher education. The fifteen scholars who contribute to this volume trace the trajectory of Black women in education, with a particular focus on higher education. These scholars combine research and personal narratives to explore educational issues ranging from historical accounts of Black female teachers in the nineteenth century, to challenges and triumphs of being an activist researcher at the turn of the twenty-first century. The essays in this volume address specific historical, social, cultural, political, and academic issues that affect Black women in the academy, and provide readers with tangible examples of how these scholars have transcended some of the challenges in their pursuit of excellence. While these essays do not claim to provide the “magic solution” or a “how-to-guide” to success un higher education, they do raise thought-provoking issues that are critical to the success of Black women in higher education.

Success at Work: A Guide for African-Americans

Anita Doreen Diggs, Barricade Books, 1993

If you're a low-income black seeking a job in the white-dominated business world, where do you start? Diggs, a New York writer who has held many jobs, puts her experience to work in this handy guide to help young blacks, and she does it by breaking the process down to basics: how to look for a job, how to act once you get the job, and how to improve your situation within the context of the job. Writing in a straightforward style designed to appeal to young people, Diggs also discusses black executives in white-owned businesses, and she encourages black entrepreneurship, explaining methods of getting started with one's own business.

Success Factors of Young African-American Males at a Historically Black College

Marilyn Ross, Bergin & Garvey, 1998

At a time when American society is desperately seeking to create hope for inner city black youth, this study serves as a tool to encourage those responsible for teaching and socializing young African-American males, who may feel they have little chance for success. The study involved 17 African-American male students at a historically black college in Miami, Florida. These students had great desire to achieve and did so despite daunting obstacles such as neighborhoods plagued with drugs, gangs, and crime. Interviewing students at the moment in their lives when they had successfully advanced beyond their environment, the author helps them to analyze their past in an honest manner. The study reveals that family, in particular the presence of one person who cares for and encourages the young man, is crucial to the student's success.

Success Guidepost for African American Children

Will Horton, W. Whorton & Co., 1999

Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There

E. Carol Webster, Privileged Communications, Inc., 1993

Success Management was written for the high profilers Dr. Webster saw in her private practice. Quite often, success is not what we expect it to be. The lifestyle changes, the additional stress and the need to be constantly in the public eye can take their toll. The awareness of what life is like at the top, and on the way to the top, will help you form reasonable expectations about the impact your success will have on your personal and professional life. In addition, you will also be much better prepared to overcome the obstacles you'll face during your journey. The book also examines what happens when you lose a position of power and influence, and when it may be beneficial to voluntarily give up that position.

Success Runs in Our Race: The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African-American Community

George Fraser and Les Brown , Avon Books, 1996

Fraser joins the ranks of motivational self-help heralds Les Brown and Dennis Kimbro, who preach pride, self-respect, and empowerment from a black perspective. Fraser targets black professionals, entrepreneurs, and would-be small business owners with his message, which calls for a renewed spirit of solidarity, invoking the principles of Nguzo Saba, on which the week-long Kwanzaa holiday is based: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. “Each one must reach one and teach one,” says George Fraser. “We've got to connect and work together - because we have no choice! We can't expect others to do for us that which we will not do for ourselves. A moment in the twenty-first century to more effectively network and leverage our collective resources and intellectual capital will parallel the importance of the civil rights movement of the twentieth century. African Americans must start now. We must get together to get ahead.” 

Success Strategies for African-Americans

Beatryce Nivens, Plume, 1998

This inspiring book provides expert guidance for those seeking to realize their dreams while balancing their personal and professional lives (by gary tf tech). Using interviews, self tests, and individualized worksheets, Success Strategies for African-Americans encourages readers to determine their own goals while focusing on a dozen core strategies for success in all aspects of life, including:
Thinking big, dreaming large; Boosting self-esteem; Letting go of fear; Developing “prosperity thinking”; Affirming your success; and
Giving back to the community.  The book includes the inspirational stories of more than 50 prominent African Americans from editor Susan Taylor to actress Ruby Dee to media executive Robert Johnson who share their secrets for success: “I gave a lot of myself, cared about my environment and left no stone unturned. And when you give 110%, have integrity and loyalty, are smart and care about people, you are justly rewarded in life.” Terri Williams, publicist “Keep questioning yourself. Is this good? And I doing the best I could? You can never do it enough. And it will pay you back.” Walter Mosley, writer “Success takes talent, timing, and tenacity.” Packed with practical tips, inspirational anecdotes and positive affirmations, this book enables readers to discover the best motivational tools to enhance body, mind, and soul.

Talking Dollars and Making Sense: A Wealth Building Guide for African Americans

Brooke Stephens, McGraw Hill, 1996

Written within the social, cultural, and historical framework of the African-American experience, this book honestly examines the attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of African-Americans with regard to money. Stephens handily covers the basics of wealth-building, including goals-setting, managing credit, home-buying, investing, insurance, tax strategies and educating children about money, then takes on more controversial issues such as: how middle-class African-Americans are made to feel as if they've abandoned their roots, why African-Americans with money are more likely to overspend on luxuries and abandon savings, how history shapes their financial lives and much more. Filled with anecdotes, quotes, aphorisms, and profiles of contemporary and historical trailblazers who have had an impact on the economic life of their communities, this guide to financial freedom will help African-Americans make sense of the intricacies of money management and achieve their financial goals.

Way of the Bootstrapper, The: Nine Action Steps for Achieving Your Dreams

Floyd Flake and Donna Marie Williams, Harper San Francisco, 1999

The Reverend Floyd Flake, a former U.S. congressman from Queens, New York, is an African American hero in the tradition of great black leaders who worked with all that was available to them--surpassing both racism and low expectations. Flake describes bootstrapping as "a process of achieving success by making it against the odds, through self-directed action. It is a mindset that allows you to rise over and above the ordinary and become an extraordinary person by taking responsibility for your thoughts.... It is a value system that directs your relationship with yourself, your neighbors and the environment." By means of his own experiences, Flake identifies the nine steps of bootstrapping, from "Know Yourself" to "Create a Lasting Legacy." His principles may sound like common sense to some and marching orders to others, but given the sociological and political psychobabble about the imagined intellectual and moral shortcomings of African Americans, Flake's timeless words of wisdom are potent antidotes to the often-lax attitudes that pervade our times.

Family Life and School Achievement:
Why Poor Black Children Succeed or Fail

Reginald Clark, University of Chicago Press, 1983.






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