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A Guardian “Best Book of 2021” Selection
A powerful look at the impacts of anti-Black racism and a practical guide for overcoming racial trauma through radical self-care as a form of resistance
Over the past 15 years, radical psychologist Guilaine Kinouani has focused her research, writing, and workshops on how racism affects both physical and mental health. Living While Black gives voice to the diverse, global experiences of Black people, using personal stories, powerful case studies, and eye-opening research to offer expert guidance on how to set boundaries and process micro-aggressions; protect children from racism; handle difficult race-based conversations; navigate the complexities of Black love; and identify and celebrate the wins.
Based on her findings, Kinouani has devised tried-and-tested strategies to help protect Black people from the harmful effects of verbal, physical, and structural racism. She empowers Black readers to adopt self-care mechanisms to improve their day-to-day wellness to help them thrive, not just survive, and to find hope and beauty—or even joy—in the face of racial adversity. She also provides a vital resource for allies seeking to better understand the impacts of racism and how they can help.
With the rise of far-right ideologies and the increase of racist hate crimes, Living While Black is both timely and instrumental in moving conversations from defining racism for non-Black majorities to focusing on healing and nurturing the mental health of those facing prejudice, discrimination, and the lasting effects of the violence of white supremacy.
About the Author
Guilaine Kinouani is a UK-based French radical and critical psychologist of Congolese descent. She is a feminist, a therapist, and an equality consultant, as well as the founder, leader, and award-nominated writer for RaceReflections.co.uk. Kinouani is a senior psychologist and an adjunct professor of Black and Africana studies at Syracuse University, London. Kinouani heads Race Reflections and its academy, providing workshops on anti-racism, racial trauma, and self-care. She tweets as @KGuilaine.
“The boldest book on Blackness I have read. The writing is revelatory, necessary, and brilliant. I haven’t felt this seen by a text before.” —Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie
“Living While Black is an empowering, inspiring, and much-needed work that unapologetically centers Black joy, healing, and resistance. Kinouani unveils how white supremacy harms Black bodies and psyches, and provides a road map to overcoming racial trauma. This book will change and save lives.” —Crystal M. Fleming, sociologist and author of Rise Up! How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy
“An incisive and important book that will change the way you think.” —Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good Immigrant and author of Brown Baby
“Speaking to those of us harmed most directly by racism, Kinouani lovingly operationalizes what healing can actually look like and reminds us that not only is joy possible in the face of racial trauma but that it is absolutely necessary for our healing.” —Yaba Blay, author of One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race
“I have followed Guilaine for years on social media precisely because of her passionate persistence in breaking open the falsely presented ‘impenetrable’ nature of how race and mental health interact. This will be a book that I read, recommend, and refer to for years to come. I’m in awe.” —Kelechi Okafor, host of Say Your Mind podcast
“With clarity and compassion, Guilaine Kinouani testifies to realities the mental health system has long ignored and denied. This is a must-read for all who profess to be trained in and care about healing.” —Robin DiAngelo, New York Times best-selling author of White Fragility
“A vital resource and powerful book—an unmissable read for everyone.” —Julia Samuel, author of This Too Shall Pass and Grief Works