Tuesday, June 29, 2010
This story left me breathless... FIVE stars indeed!!
This book displays the courage of three African-American women traveling along their journey through life. These women own similar characteristics that hinder success—self-destruction, self-hatred and substance abuse. These three characteristics cripple a soul forcing the negative self-image to prevail planting the seed in the cycle of poverty. This book left me breathless but refreshed on some level. The issues the author addresses are some that I feel personally affect the current status of African-Americans in our society today.
If one doesn’t own self-love they will not succeed. In order to become successful one must first believe that they are worthy of success. I found myself getting lost in each page holding my breath at times waiting for the outcome of each woman’s journey. I also became angry at how real each story was. We, in the African American community, hinder our success and the success of others by continually owning self-hatred. When we place value on the color of skin or hair texture rather than on character and integrity the results are disheartening resulting in violence, poverty, substance abuse, etc.
Each character faces racism in the larger society but also within their communities and families. However, they all become empowered and succeeded despite their circumstances. The author allows the reader a brief glimpse into life behind the walls at the Whittenhall. The characters and the baggage—stories--they come with are very real. Ms. Marshall paints a clear picture of how things are and what is expected behind the Whittenhall Wall. In our society, life for some begins and ends behind a wall similar to the Whittenhall as they feel they deserve nothing more. They don't acquire the necessary strength to tackle the walls placed in front of them. Whereas in other cases, people use all of their power—education, desire and will—to climb out of their situations creating a better life for themselves. These three women did just that.
The veil is a metaphor of the importance of knowing your true worth and value. When you believe that you come from greatness then you believe that you deserve the best that life has to offer. I highly recommend this book for all people, however, feel it will have its greatest influence on young women despite the color of their skin. When we teach young women to love and respect themselves they end up demanding it in their lives. This book is phenomenal and I hope the author gets the praise that she deserves for addressing serious issues in such a gripping way.