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My American life : from rage to entitlement : a memoir /

Main Author: Cobbs, Price M.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York : Atria Books, 2005
Edition: 1st Atria Books hardcover ed.
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Review by Booklist Review

In the mid-1960s, Cobbs, along with a fellow black psychiatrist, wrote Black Rage, a seminal book on race relations as America was in the midst of racial transformation. In this memoir, Cobbs reflects on his life and his own personal rage. Cobbs' father was a black physician who moved his practice from the South to Los Angeles. Cobbs and his sister grew up in the relative security of middle-class life. While his father had left-leaning political sensibilities, his mother was grounded in religion-centered black society. After medical school, Cobbs began his residency and internship, an experience that formed the basis of much of his theory of black rage, the medical impact of anger resulting from racism and the recognition that cultural background is important to medical treatment. Applying his theory to himself, Cobbs recognizes the need to accept the rage but to channel it to secure rightful entitlement rooted in self-worth. He sees this as the challenge for black Americans today, to turn rage into positive action that better addresses historic and continuing obstacles rather than toward self-destructive behavior. --Vernon Ford Copyright 2005 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Coauthor of Black Rage, the seminal 1968 work that identified the syndrome and coined the phrase, psychiatrist Cobbs here sketches the influences and experiences that shaped him and his work. The result is a nuanced portrait of mid-20th-century racial consciousness, one that insists on claiming "entitlement" (a sense of belonging and of worth) as proper rechanneling of rage. Born in Los Angeles in 1928, Cobbs grew up in an upper-middle-class family that faced regular discrimination, behavior that caused his father's "subtle undercurrent of anger." Service in a segregated army unit reinforced Cobbs's recognition of American ideals unmet. Moving to the South to enter medical school in Nashville in 1954 added further to his store of experiences-and his own responses to them. Studying psychiatry, Cobbs vowed to understand people's feelings and behavior in the broadest context, including feelings about race, a factor previously underacknowledged; this approach was the precursor to what he calls Ethnotherapy. An instance of race-based vandalism led Cobbs to George Leonard of the Esalen Institute; together they developed an innovative cross-racial confrontation group, in which, yes, black rage surfaced from even the better-off. Rage, co-written with William Grier, appeared after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in a country searching for answers. The rest of this book is brief; the bilddung sections, its bulk, illuminate a personal and generational odyssey. Author tour. (Sept. 20) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved