Sweet Release: The Last Step to Black Freedom
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by Dr. James Davison, Jr.
Book Review by Kam Williams
Is it detrimental for African-Americans to continue to think of their
struggle for advancement as a collective as opposed to a solitary
enterprise? This is the controversial contention put forward by Dr.
James Davison, Jr. in Sweet Release: The Last Step to Black Freedom?
Davidson, a psychologist in private practice in California, argues that
blacks still viewing reality through a pre-Civil Rights Era prism are
only standing in the way of their own freedom.
By contrast, Dr. Davison deems the oft-maligned black middle-class to be
the real role models worthy of emulation, since ’success and failures
are the result of effort and ability, not luck or ingratiating
behavior.’ Consequently, he suggests that people distance themselves
from the ghetto gangsta ’fraternity of failure’ where such practices as
’partying, having constant sex, getting high, working on my jump shot
and being a criminal’ take precedence over developing the skills and
qualifications for a successful career.