"A Wealth of Family" by Thomas Brooks: Book Review

A Wealth of Family

by Thomas Brooks

Alpha Multimedia, Inc. (2006)

ISBN 0977462935

Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (6/06)

“A Wealth of Family” has something to be enjoyed or learned by people from all walks of life, no matter what your gender, socio-economic background or culture. This is a fantastic book. It centers on Brooks upbringing as an adopted black men who wanted to find his roots. I found it difficult to write this review because his story touched me in so many ways, it was hard for me to narrow down which area I enjoyed the greatest or which part of his life experiences taught me the most. In spite of our differences (gender, race, upbringing) I learned a lot about myself as I read. I admire his ability to see the positive learning experiences that come from experiencing negative situations.

Brooks was raised by a very protective, divorced black woman. They had to struggle financially. He had close extended family in his life and a wonderful male role model. In his youth, he learned that he was adopted. His birth mother was a white woman and his father was an African from Kenya. Brooks developed an interest in finding his birth family so that he could learn about his roots.

Throughout his education, Brooks had to deal with racism and poverty. He experienced racism from his friends and teachers. He attended a predominantly white school. Some of his friends would make racist comments based on ignorance without realizing that their beliefs were wrong. Brooks chose to get his revenge by excelling in academics and athletics. Then he had to deal with black-on-black prejudice by being told that he was “acting white” by his black peers.

Brooks was the first in his family to attend college. This was a whole new learning experience for him. He had to deal with the paradox of trying to show everyone that black people can excel at everything and then being accused of being boastful and arrogant when he would succeed.

After Brooks completed his education, he was contacted by his birth mother. Through her, he is able to meet his siblings in England and contact his father’s family in Kenya. After a great deal of effort, he is able to meet his birth father and extended family in Kenya. Brooks is able to connect his adoptive family, his English family and his African family. Now he truly knows his roots.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that the story did not end when he met his mother. He continues on and teaches us about the how much more his life was enriched by being able to combine his family from their different cultures.

I highly recommend this book to be used in African-American studies classes and in Cultural Counseling classes. I think that it would be great to be read in areas of underprivileged youth. Brooks showed that he could overcome all of the hardships in his life and he is actively involved in making a difference in the lives of others.

Brooks writes about how slavery has robbed African Americans of their history and culture. This often leads them to think that they are inferior. Because of his experiences he developed a perspective of himself as a “world citizen, not limited by race, religion, nationality or political ideology.” If everyone could develop this view of themselves, there would be an end to racism and we would have world peace.

Diversity in Education and Curriculum Concepts – Book Review

Are you interested in a future in teaching, education administration, or becoming a social worker, or school psychologist, then there is a book, which I’d like to recommend that your read, and then I’d like to give you a more than fair assessment of this work.

“Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society,” by Donna M. Gollnick and Philip C. Chinn, Pearson Merrill a Prentice Hall Company, Upper Saddle River, NJ, (2006), pp. 404, ISBN: 0-13-119719-3.

This book was quite interesting to me, and its first publishing was in 1983 and it has been upgraded and republished every few years since. I felt as if the book was very hard to use because it has the Preface prior to the table of contents, which makes navigating very tough. The preface is quite good and explains how the book is formatted.

Once into the book it is very easy to follow along, even the most blithering idiot could use this book and understand it, perhaps, that is their target reader; at least this is the impression I got, and speaking of impression, I believe this book is trying to brainwash the “education student” who has an impressionable mind, this is my opinion based on reading it.

Indeed, as a coordinator for a think tank online I was really worried that such books are indeed being used to train and teach new teachers and college professionals, and students who will go into the educational profession as administrators, professors, psychologists, etc. There are chapters on social classes, race, homosexuality, diversity, gender, religion, and age. There are sub-chapters such as; Hate Groups

Racial Identification

Bullying

Self Esteem

Sexual Harassment

Anyway, you get the idea of what this wonderful book is all about, unfortunately after reading through it all, I decided I really didn’t have room on my many book shelves for it. And I chose not to donate it to a Thrift Store, and I failed to put it into the recycle bin – it has gone straight into the trash. But, I think this is a great book for a neo-liberal-socialist. And I recommend that you read this book so you can understand how all this political correctness has permeated in our society and how it started in academia.

This book also had everything reiterated and duplicated on a CD ROM with videos, and roll-playing on each chapter. I suppose this is for those in academia who cannot read well, and yet, might still be teaching our children and kids. Look, anyone who is serious about teaching needs to understand how it all works, and what it’s all about, even if you disagree with every single aspect of it. This is why I read the book, and duly discharged to where I believe it belongs. Please consider this.

Book Review of "Long Walk to Freedom"

Nelson Mandela began writing his autobiography while imprisoned in 1974. It was confiscated by authorities but he resumed writing after being released in 1990, with help of friends who aided him in remembering the details.

“Long Walk to Freedom” is a very thick book. I admit that I skimmed through the political pages because it would take a long time to read. I mostly wanted to read about his childhood, marriages and family life.

His life has indeed been a long walk. He went from being born in a typical African village, to getting a degree, getting involved in a cause, being imprisoned and eventually becoming a leader.

As a child after his father’s death, he was sent to be raised by a family who could send his to school. That must have been hard for his mother but she wanted him to have a future.

He told of being circumcised, running away from home with his friend to escape an arranged marriage, his marriages and children. The destiny for him was a difficult one. His family did not get his presence because he had to save a nation.

It is painful as a Christian to know that at one time, well-meaning missionaries treated other races as inferior in their attempts to help. We’ve seen it with Native Americans, Australians and Africans. Still, the Methodist schools that he attended gave him the education that many children are not afforded. The man who raised him was returning a favor that Nelson’s father had done for him when he was alive. This man was able to send him to there.

Nelson Mandela was not his birth name. It was the English-Christian name given to him on his first day of school. His father died when he was nine years old.

As a young man, an arranged marriage was announced by his friend’s father. He had already chosen the brides for the two young men and paid the dowries. They ran away from home and got into several scrapes. When the other young man received news of his father’s death, Nelson told him he should return home. By this time, Nelson already felt a calling for his own life that he couldn’t ignore.

His first marriage ended when his wife became a Jehovah’s Witness and they just believed in two different concepts. His second marriage ended after his release for the good of the country because her route had become too controversial.

I watched a documentary about his second wife, Winnie. Although her path later took a rough turn, I believe in the beginning, she was wanting to help her husband by being involved. She herself was imprisoned for a period of time. The separation was very hard on her.

I read in other sources that he later married his third wife who had been married to a prior leader before becoming a widow.

Although Nelson’s family paid a difficult price, his sacrifice changed a nation and the world.