Wednesday, April 05, 2006
From The Soul: Stories of Great Black Parents and the Lives They Gave Us by Phyllis Y. Harris is an encouraging book full of true stories told in the voices of people raised by excellent parents. Each chapter tells of another family that triumphantly raised wise, responsible, loving, grateful children to successful adulthood. It is fascinating to hear of the key elements in the parent’s choices and priorities as they nurtured and cared for their families. Many of the parents’ marriages ended in divorce, but in each case the love and commitment of both parents continues to be a key factor in the confidence and accomplishments of the children. The families come from every social and economic strata of society, but high expectation, hope, education, sacrifice, discipline and intense family loyalty are bedrock values for them all. Each story is accompanied by photos of the families. One of the most interesting stories is of a family from Swaziland, exiled from South Africa. This young woman’s parents were freedom fighters with the ANC, and hearing the story told from the child’s perspective is fascinating and illuminating. Every chapter has taught me something of what it means to be an excellent parent, and has challenged me to give my sons the very best. Anyone raising children should read this inspiring book.