Growing Up Black: A Resource Manual for Black Youth


83 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 0-920813-77-1
DDC 362.7'97036'0713541




Reviewed by Linde Yasui

Linde Yasui is a senior Sociology student at the University of Toronto.


Growing Up Black supports and encourages black youths in giving critical
thought and voice to their individual and collective experiences.
Through a series of challenging questions, suggestions on role-playing,
and recommendations on films and videos to watch, this resource manual
aims to help black youths actively develop a clearer sense of
self-identity and collective identity. Identity, in turn, is viewed as a
powerful tool in taking control over one’s life, particularly where
planning (both short- and long-term goals) is involved.

This is not an all-encompassing work, nor does it pretend it can be (as
the introduction makes clear). It is an exciting initiative that will
help its readers explore in depth many important issues facing today’s
blacks—for example, racism in our laws, schools, and community;
sexuality; and negative attitudes toward young people. At the same time
it leaves plenty of room for exploring other issues its readers might

Clarity of language; clear presentation of questions and comments;
photographs and illustrations; quotations expressing youths’ concerns
about and experiences of a variety of issues—all these combine to
provide a highly readable resource manual that an audience between 12
and 22 will find easy to follow. Further, the variety of methods
suggested to encourage thought and discussion makes this manual easily
adaptable to both individual and group use.

As the title indicates, the manual does focus on the experience of
growing up black—and indeed some of its content deals specifically
with black people’s historical experience (with, for example, slavery
and colonialism). But many of the issues it addresses could be used as a
starting point for self-explorations by other youths of color. Highly


Silvera, Makeda., “Growing Up Black: A Resource Manual for Black Youth,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 22, 2024,