Clint Smith: Beyond This Place

Clint Smith: Beyond This Place

Future of StoryTelling 2015

Published August 4, 2015

2015 Future of StoryTelling Summit Speaker: Clint Smith
Teacher & Poet
Societal problems like racism and inequality often feel overwhelming. Clint Smith sees a possible remedy: storytelling. Through his work as a poet, educator, and activist, including an innovative program at the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, Smith often confronts how we’re socialized to simplify others down to their race, their class, or even just their worst moment. The same is being done to us, and thus our lives can feel riven by social divides. But if we learn to tell our own stories—to explore our emotions, and to captivate the emotions of others—we can fully engage with our shared humanity. Smith’s experience as a poet has made him adept at teaching these key storytelling tools, which he’ll be sharing at this year’s FoST.

Raising Black Children


Raising Black Children: Two Leading Psychiatrists Confront the Educational, Social and Emotional Problems Facing Black Children, by James P. Comer, MD & Alvin F. Poussaint  (1992)

Two of America’s most trusted and respected authorities on child care—provide answers to nearly 1000 questions on the problem of raising African-American children. “A necessary addition to all parenting and parent-teacher collections.”—Library Journal.

Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis among African-Americans

Lay My Burden Down: Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis among African-Americans Revised Edition, by Alvin F. Poussaint, MD & Amy Alexander (2011)

Through stories (including their own), interviews, and analysis of the most recent data available, Dr. Alvin Poussaint and journalist Amy Alexander offer a groundbreaking look at ‘posttraumatic slavery syndrome,’ the unique physical and emotional perils for black people that are the legacy of slavery and persistent racism. They examine the historical, cultural, and social factors that make many blacks reluctant to seek health care, and cite ways that everyone from the layperson to the health care provider can help.

Black Men and Depression: Saving our Lives, Healing our Families and Friends

Black Men and Depression: Saving our Lives, Healing our Families and Friends, by John Head (2005)

In mainstream society depression and mental illness are still somewhat taboo subjects; in the black community they are topics that are almost completely shrouded in secrecy. As a result, millions of black men are suffering in silence or getting treatment only in extreme circumstances–in emergency rooms, homeless shelters, and prisons. The neglect of emotional disorders among men in the black community is nothing less than racial suicide. In this groundbreaking book, veteran journalist and award-winning author John Head argues that the problem can be traced back to the time of slavery, when it was believed that blacks were unable to feel inner pain because they had no psyche. This myth has damaged generations of African American men and their families, creating a society that blames black men for being violent and aggressive without considering that depression might be a root cause. Black Men and Depression challenges the African American community and the psychiatric community to end the suffering of black men, and address what can be done by loved ones to help those who need it most.