By Grace: The Challenges, Strengths, and Promise of African American Marriages examines contemporary and historical issues that have affected black marriages, relationships, and families. The chapters explore major topics as they relate to African American marriages, including economics, caregiving across the lifespan, mental illness, health, gender roles and relationships, and social policy. By Grace highlights the strengths and resilience of African American relationships. The book is written for diverse professional and community audiences. It can be used by couples to explore some of the challenges they experience in their marriages to support healthy relationship building. The book also serves as a resource and provides practical approaches for practitioners.
Bravo to Dr. Bent-Goodley and her contributors for providing social work educators, practitioners, and researchers with an honest, culturally and historically centered examination of African American marriages in all of their complexities and diversity of relationship forms. The contributors expertly capture the current realities, evolving roles, strengths, and challenges across the developmental trajectories of both the marital relationship and the marital partners.
By Grace is a must-read not only for African Americans who are married or aspire to be married, but also for social workers interested in gaining meaningful insight into the dynamics of African American marriages and strengths-based approaches to intervention with African American individuals, couples, and families.
Tonya E. Perry, PhD
Professor, Graduate Social Work Program
Department of Social Work, Psychology & Counseling
Alabama A & M University
Dr. Tricia B. Bent-Goodley and her contributors have made a major and significant contribution to the marriage movement and the social work profession by expanding our knowledge and the contemporary dialogue about marriage and the black community. I, among many, have sought to stimulate and integrate social research with models of promising practices and intervention strategies that would effectively address contemporary African American marriages in all of their complexities. This book is on the mark. There is much work to be done as the scholars in the book have effectively laid the foundation, raised important questions, and squarely presented the challenges to the social work community and to other disciplines. I hope this book will inspire social work educators, practitioners, policymakers, and researchers to move past the old barriers that have missed the mark on the subject of healthy marriage and relationships and create the space for innovation and solution.
Diann Dawson, JD, MSW
Former director, Regional Operations, ACF, HHS, and Founder of Federal African-American Healthy Marriage Initiative