Nubian Circle Book Club

Who We Are
NCBC Guidelines
NCBC Calendar
NCBC Book Reviews
What We've Read (2001-Present)
Broken Silence Book Review

Phyllis Rhodes

Let The Healing Begin!

Dr. Singleton prefaces the novel, Broken Silence, by quoting an axiom from a t-shirt she once saw:   "Being a Black Woman Is One of the Hardest Jobs in the World."  She comments that this maxim has proven itself true as evidenced in the lives of her clients.  Too often women of color hide behind walls of silence (with disastrous consequences), only turning to therapy when the burdens become too heavy to bear.  I loved the way the author substantiated this point by citing the historical silent suffering experienced by African American slaves as fodder for pain; how religion is repeatedly viewed as the only means of relief; and how the silent suffering is still deeply rooted in the modern African American psyche.  

The middle portion of the book contains eight success stories of black women who have benefited from therapy.  Each woman has different types of issues ranging from emotional and sexual abuse, relationship issues, and self-respect/identity problems.  Dr. Singleton introduces each story with care and compassion.  Her objectivity, presentation of the issues, and counsel to her patients are helpful, sound, and sensible.  She has simplified highly complex problems which allow the reader to easily empathize and learn from the lessons of others.  My only comment here is she might have over-simplified a bit too much, but her advice and strategies to minimize stress and encourage her clients are wonderful. 

I think this book is an excellent resource for women, especially black women, who need to know that they are not alone in their experiences with abuse, failed relationships, and/or career disappointments.  It also provides clear explanations and warning signs along with practical suggestions and exercises for healthier living.  It demonstrates that personal change is possible and helps women realize that if they choose to overcome the cultural stigma of therapy, they will find the support, comfort, relief, and balance needed to let the healing begin.

The Nubian Circle Book Club rating for Broken Silence:  Black Women in Therapy is 3.5 of 5 stars.  Please e-mail us at this address: