1st Edition

Black Lives Are Beautiful 50 Tools to Heal from Trauma and Promote Positive Racial Identity

    294 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    294 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Black Lives Are Beautiful is a workbook explicitly designed to help members of the Black community counter the impacts of racialized trauma while also cultivating self-esteem, building resilience, fostering community, and promoting Black empowerment.

    As readers explore each part of this workbook, they will develop tools to overcome the mental injuries that occur from living in a racialized society. Clinicians who use this workbook with clients will find a practical toolbox of racially informed interventions to aid clinicians, particularly White clinicians, in culturally sensitive clinical practice.

    Introduction. Section 1: Healing from Racial Trauma Activity 1. Racialized Trauma Self-Assessment Checklist Activity 2. Uncovering Your Racialized Trauma Activity 3. Identifying Internalized Racism Activity 4. Interrupting the Cycle of Internalized Racism Activity 5. Your Body Can Help Activity 6. A Healing Self-Compassion Meditation Activity 7. My Racial Healing Toolbox Section 2: Tools to Promote Self-Esteem Activity 8. Self-Esteem Questionnaire Activity 9. Black Racial Identity Quiz Activity 10. Your Melanin is Poppin’ Activity 11. Let Your Social Media Reflect Your Confidence Activity 12. Take a Selfie Activity 13. Family Ties Activity 14. Proud Moments Activity 15. Goals Toward Greatness Activity 16. Visualize Your Greatness Activity 17. Create Your Catchphrase Section 3: Tools to Promote Resilience Activity 18. Metaphor of Life Activity 19. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Activity 20. Your Family Story Activity 21. You’re a Survivor Activity 22. Rewrite the Narrative Activity 23. Self-Compassion Activity 24. Purpose and Resilience Activity 25. Manifesting Your Purpose Activity 26. Using Fun to Enhance Resilience Section 4: Tools to Promote Empowerment Activity 27. Music For Your Soul Activity 28. Stories That Inspire Activity 29. Heritage Wall Activity 30. Pearls of Wisdom Activity 31. Release and Let Go Activity 32. Safe Spaces Activity 33. Black Minds Matter Activity 34. Sociopolitical Empowerment Activity 35. Your Role as a Change Agent Activity 36. Black Economic Empowerment Activity 37. Messages About Money Activity 38. Anti-Racism Empowerment Strategies Section 5: Tools to Promote Community Activity 39. Finding Your Tribe Activity 40. Cultural Institutions Activity 41. The Hate They Give Activity 42. Contribute Your Gift Activity 43. Juneteenth Activity 44. Seven Principles Activity 45. Black Greek Life Activity 46. Community Engagement Activity 47. Community Sense Activity 48. Mind, Body, and Soul Activity 49. Better Together Activity 50. Thank You Letter


    Janeé M. Steele, PhD, is a licensed professional counselor, counselor educator, and diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies. Dr. Steele is also the owner of Kalamazoo Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy, PLLC, where she provides therapy, supervision, and training in CBT. Her scholarly activity includes service as an associate editor of the Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development and authorship of works focused on the areas of CBT, cultural diversity, social justice advocacy, and counselor training.

    Charmeka S. Newton, PhD, is a professor at the University of North Dakota. She is also a fully licensed psychologist and owner of Legacy Mental Health Services, PLLC. Dr. Newton is passionate about mitigating racial disparities in mental health treatment. In 2022, she was honored with the Distinguished Psychologist Award by the Michigan Psychological Association for this work. She is also a peer-reviewed journal author and sought-after speaker.

    "Cultivating the spirit of the human condition that Africa-descended people possess requires conditions that affirm rather than invalidate; support rather than denigrate; and surrounded with loving ambiance as opposed to toxic energy. The spirit is challenged, however, to receive that level of valuation and validation in a climate where racism and White supremacy create the condition for a chronic assault on an individual and a people’s humanity. Culturally congruent, therapeutic engagement not only requires an accurate assessment of the residual baggage Black people continue to carry from historic and chronic exposure to individual, instructional and societal racism, but it also requires therapeutic support that provides nurturing spaces for people’s spirits to recover and heal. This text is a blueprint for how to recognize when clients have been impacted by the racial trauma and toxicity of life’s circumstances. It is also a road map for taking people from where they are to where they ought to be. Those of us who are committed to this work enthusiastically embrace the arrival of this book and recommend its adoption by those who are serious about providing therapeutic benefit to people of African descent."

    Thomas A. Parham, PhD, president, California State University, Dominguez Hills, and distinguished psychologist, The Association of Black Psychology

    "High praise for Black Lives Are Beautiful. This workbook for managing racialized trauma could not be more timely, especially given the persistent barrage of assaults targeted against the Black community (e.g., state sanctioned violence, voter suppression, everyday racism). The authors validate and affirm the integrity of the Black experience. In particular, they provide digestible information concerning the science of racialized trauma, the impact of trauma on the Black psyche, and a host of exercises and nuggets of wisdom that help readers heal from racialized trauma. This is a must read for every Black person because it was written by us and for us."

    Norma L. Day-Vines, PhD, professor and associate dean for diversity and faculty development, Johns Hopkins University

    "Dr. Steele and Dr. Newton have given the world a precious gift with Black Lives Are Beautiful: 50 Tools to Heal from Trauma and Promote Positive Racial Identity. This is a must-have book for mental health practitioners and an important support for Black clients healing from racial trauma and remembering their value and worth as key components of Black liberation."

    Anneliese Singh, PhD, associate provost for diversity and faculty development, chief diversity officer, and provost, Tulane University

    "Awareness and knowledge can contribute to personal empowerment and self-efficacy. This workbook has been developed to promote healing, self-love, and acceptance of one’s identity as an individual of African/Black heritage. The authors provide a sensitive approach to promote racial healing as an on-going process in one’s life journey."

    Patricia Arredondo, EdD, president, Arredondo Advisory Group, and faculty fellow, Fielding Graduate University