A DOOR OF HOPE
1. A Door of Hope for the Wounded Black Family
2. A Door of Hope in Forgiveness
3. A Door of Hope for a Positive Self-Image
4. A Door of Hope for Genuine Love
5. A Door of Hope Love For Those Who are Single
6. A Door of Hope for Married Couples
7. A Door of Hope for Overcoming Anger and Conflict
8. A Door of Hope for the Separated and Divorced
9. A Door of Hope for Parenting Black Children and Teenagers
10. A Door of Hope for the Black Male
11. A Door of Hope for the Black Woman
12. A Door of Hope for Homosexuals
13. A Door of Hope for Being Single, Sexual, and Celibate
14. A Door of Hope in our Savior and Friend
A number of features have been incorporated into this book to provide African American families with a broad knowledge about comprehensive strengths and about unresolved issues that influence their family life. This book is designed to help Black individuals to understand the origins and meaning of the feelings and behaviors which they are continuously experiencing. Historical prejudices, discriminations and racism did and does exist. It is essential for African American individuals to be provided with a basis upon which to build a positive self concept before they can effectively relate positively with others in marriage and in families.
It is an enormous task to survey relevant literature, sort out societal contributions that are likely to have produced lasting influences on relationships and to integrate them into an existing body of knowledge that can be useful in fostering a healthy family life for Black Americans. A useful body of knowledge about African Americans necessarily: increases the understanding of our general human condition out of which we have developed; identifies numerous continuing controversial, unresolved issues that impact on spiritual, physical, mental, emotional and social health; and incorporates some perspectives on the latest thinking about interventive measures for strengthening Black families.
African American families are going through a period of escalating conflict and chaos. A Door of Hope for the Wounded Black Family seeks to acknowledge what has occurred historically to African American families and to reinforce our sense of worth which was instituted by God Himself in the beginning. In the beginning, God through creation declared that Blacks, along with other nationalities, were created in His image and Blacks were included in the evaluation in Genesis 1:31 which stated, "And God saw everything that He made, and behold, it was very good." The book also seeks to increase useful relationship skills that can enhance effective coping and living.
In an effort to keep A Door of Hope for the Wounded Black Family both informative and practical, the authors have tried to design the book to meet the needs of African American families: through the gaining of a better understanding of their spiritual origins, through a knowledge of their historical and cultural roots, through the cognitive acquisition of psychological concepts and principles, and through the application of spiritual principles of love, faith and forgiveness. Since it is not generally perceived to be useful to repress bitterness and hostility, healing and intervention have been postulated to begin with a need for forgiveness. Forgiving another is not based on whether the guilty offender deserves it. The act of slavery does not merit forgiveness. However, forgiveness fosters the health and growth of the victim. It can reduce stress and anxiety in African Americans so that their adaptive energy can be used for their own growth.
Forgiveness is a process of letting go of the resentment and bitterness that accompanies emotional hurt or wrongful offenses against one's self. To forgive requires one to freely pardon another who has been guilty of being immoral, unjust, unfair and evil against you. Forgiveness releases repressed anger and bitterness that has the potential, like cancer, to cause intense distress, anxiety, physical and emotional illness and death. Forgiveness facilitates the healing of the oppressed.
Throughout these passages the authors have sought to encourage and inspire African Americans to think critically, to intelligently assess needs, to develop plans and to act rationally while implementing plans, so that they can make sound decisions, solve their own problems and their families can become stronger and function optimally. Mature decision making can foster success. Impulsive emotional reactivity born out of anger can be destructive to the victim.
While co-authorship has been a venture of togetherness, both authors took turns in selecting areas that hey especially enjoyed and felt comfortable with. The conceptual framework for A Door of Hope for the Wounded Black Family initially gives a brief historical overview which leads to a discussion of contemporary psychosocial socio--cultural perspectives of the African American family. This discussion is followed by some causal factors in problem behaviors and finally some strategies for intervening in problem relationship were added.
The authors write both as experts in the field of family and marriage counseling and as African Americans. Alfred R. Jones has a doctorate in Marriage and Family Counseling and works as a family counselor and educator known nationally and internationally for conducting seminars, workshops and conferences for singles, couples and families. Since this work was originally his brain child, he wrote a majority of the book--nine chapters--which include sections on: The Black Family; Forgiveness; A Positive Self Image; Those Who Are Single; The Separated and Divorced; The Black Male; Hope for Homosexuals; Single, Sexual and Celibate; and Hope in Our Savior and Friend. Doris M. Ewell Jones has a masters degree in counseling and is a doctoral candidate in psychology. She has traveled widely with her husband and alone and has a broad range of experience as an educator, lecturer, counselor and conductor of marriage, parenting and family seminars. She wrote the five sections on: The Black Woman; Genuine Love; Married Couples; Parenting Children and Adolescents; and Overcoming Conflict and Anger.