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Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting Paperback – January 6, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Black Power masks Black Pain, says Williams, a social worker and founder of a successful public relations firm. Back when black was beautiful, we felt comfortable in our dark skin and 'nappy' hair. Decades later, that sense of pride has morphed into bling that hides the pain of poverty and racism. The result has been depression expressed through violence, addiction, suicide as well as obesity and hypertension. The stoicism blacks are taught in order to not appear weak in the eyes of other black people only leads to denial and isolation. Williams argues persuasively that blacks are not alone. She begins with her own tribulations with depression. From there, she examines how depression is expressed by black men, women and children, and shares the stories of scores of others: rich, poor, successful, incarcerated. This liberal insertion of case reports coupled with a plethora of block quotes can bog down the text. However, Williams is dedicated to convincing her fellow African-Americans that assistance is readily available, whether through counseling, medicine or self-help: [T]here is no need for you to suffer alone or in silence. Help is out there. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Black Pain is just the conversation starter that we need to begin tackling the taboo topic of depression. Out of the discussion comes the healing." - Tavis Smiley, Author, Television Personality and Radio Host

"Black Pain is an immensely readable and down-to-earth book. It will motivate black people who suffer with depression in silence to seek help. This book shines a bright light on the darkness of despair" - Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"Black Pain shines a spotlight on the issue, getting the message out that we must identify, understand, and seek the help we need to heal." - Danny Glover, Actor/Activist

"It boldly confronts the reality of our pain head on, flowing like hot lyrics over the perfect beat." - Sean "Diddy" Combs

"Black Pain shows us that it is time that we all talk about our depression and fight with the same vigor that we fight to achieve racial justice." - Charles Ogletree

"Black Pain shows us how to recognize that depression that may be hidden away and deal with it. It pushes us to give a voice to the pain without passing it on to others." - Patti LaBelle

"Terrie dares to bring out what so many have not had the courage to confront, having learned that you can never heal until you expose what hurts you. Black Pain is an opportunity to reach your breakthrough moment." - Rev. Al Sharpton

"The racism, the struggle, the feelings of hopelessness-it hurts like hell. Black Pain shows us why we are dying in the streets." - Jamie Hector, actor, The Wire

"Black Pain takes a candid and in-depth look at depression in black America. The book provides hope to those who battle with the disease and offers an understanding for the friends and loved ones who care for them. I highly recommend this book." - Bishop T.D. Jakes, Senior Pastor, The Potter's House

"The world is full of damaged people inflicting pain upon other damaged people. The time for sweeping issues such as depression under the rug in the African-American community has long since passed. We need to face our demons head on and defeat them so that we can truly appreciate all that life has to offer...This book will serve as an eye-opener to many and an inspiration to all." - Zane, NY Times Bestselling Author of Addicted and NAACP Image Award Winner for Breaking the Cycle

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (January 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743298837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743298834
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Millions of black people are needlessly suffering from depression. Even when the symptoms of depression are raging and screaming inside of us, too many of us are not doing anything to seek help. Could it be a lack of knowledge about the disease? Could it be the stigma that depression is a mental illness and we are ashamed to be associated with a disease such as this? Would we choose cancer or high blood pressure, would we choose a heart attack? NO. Neither do we choose depression.
Terrie Williams latest book "Black Pain, It just looks like We Aren't Hurting" is a literary treasure. This book should be recommended reading in every household, and school counselors should have a copy on their shelves. It's a masterpiece for book club discussions.

Terrie Williams, an International Motivational Speaker, Publicist, Entrepreneur, Best Selling Author and Visionary, comes forward and leads the way to encourage you to exit the darkness and enter into light. The collective wisdom that is shared in this book will, without a doubt ,let you know that because we often choose to remain silent, untreated depression can be extremely traumatizing. It can even kill you.

Whether fervently speaking to an audience or ardently through the pages of this insightful book, you are instantly aware of her compassion for others. You sense the urgency of her mission to expose the myth that depression is a weakness and something that you should be ashamed of.
One story, Terrie's own life account of a successful journey in the business and entertainment world, while secretly fighting the intense forces of depression is riveting to say the least. What happened when her mask came off? It was monolithic.
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Format: Hardcover
Terrie M. Williams, a professional in mental health care, as well as the owner of a public relations firm, describes the debilitating agony of depression felt by black people, yet denied by many. In the black community there is a taboo against looking "crazy" or not having enough faith in God. This prevents many from seeking the help they need from professionals to deal with deep depression. She covers the subject in many ways and gives the symptoms of depression; she covers the depression of women and men separately. She notes that many black women feel they have to be super woman and don't know how to just say `no' to anyone asking a favor or needing help. She lets us know that if we can't help ourselves first, we won't be any good to anyone else. Black men have difficulty showing weakness of any sort and many times don't seek the help they need. BLACK PAIN covers the myriad reasons for pain in the black community, especially among the young, such as living in foster care, single parent households, dealing with addicted parents or struggling parents who have to work all the time. Depression breeds anger and produces gangs running the streets taking out their anger on each other because it temporarily relieves the pain. The Hip Hop culture is sometimes a reflection of depressive situations.

BLACK PAIN doesn't leave it there, with merely a description and the symptoms. Ms. Williams also gives solutions to the problem, discusses the many medications that are on the market for depression, as well as their positive and negative side effects. She includes a list of readings that will help, and she even includes a letter that can be written to friends to form a support group when help is needed. Ms. Williams also includes her mailing and email addresses so she is accessible.
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Format: Hardcover
Terrie Williams has written a masterwork on how Black oppression has led to Black depression. Every African-American will find their story told over and over, informing them of where their variety of depression comes from, plays out and where they can go for effective help. For the non-Black reader this book will educate and illuminate for you not only the Black experience but in essence your own. I have just finished this amazing book and and now reading it for the second time. Read this book! Nuff said.
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Format: Hardcover
Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting

When I was in medical school I was told that black people did not get depressed very often. But i knew better. I watched as others tried to spread the word but only ended up talking to other professionals. In a readable very personal book she has exposed to the world that there is a people with deep pain that was never expressed or treated. Terri Williams have done what professionals wanted to do she haBlack Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not HurtingCross Cultural Psychiatrys succeeded. She has gotten the word out, that we do become depressed and we have our own way of showing it. She shows that this unrecognized pain may account for much of the anger, hostility, community violence and and suffering that has led to the disparities that have puzzled many providers. She has given a voice for all of those that have suffered in silence.

William B. Lawson, MD, PhD, DFAPA
Professor and Chair
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Howard University College of Medicine and Hospital
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