Cover image for The warrior method : a program for rearing healthy Black boys
The warrior method : a program for rearing healthy Black boys
Winbush, Raymond A. (Raymond Arnold), 1948-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Amistad, [2001]

Physical Description:
xxviii, 228 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.86 .W556 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E185.86 .W556 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E185.86 .W556 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E185.86 .W556 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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The Warrior Method is a program designed for parents and teachers to help young black boys to become strong, self-reliant, independent men. This program looks at a male's life as seasonal: spring, conception to four years old; summer, ages five through twelve; autumn, ages thirteen through twenty-one; and winter, age twenty-two through the remainder of the man's life. Within these seasons are the "Birthing Circle" for mothers and their newborns, and the "Young Warriors Council" as the boys get older.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics, black males die at a rate fifteen times higher than that of white males because of homicidal violence. In 1999, the Sentencing Project reported that 32 percent of black males between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine are in contact with the criminal justice system, whether it be through indictment, incarceration, probation, or parole. Using current rates of first incarceration, the justice Department estimates that 28 percent of black males will enter state or federal prisons during their lifetime. In response to these devastating statistics, psychologist, educator, and father Dr. Winbush has created The Warrior Method. It shows how to protect, educate, and guide boys safely through the minefields of a dangerous and prejudiced society.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Psychologist Winbush offers a comprehensive parenting program specifically aimed at overcoming the impact of racism and negative experiences too often suffered by young black males, from the low expectations by teachers to racial profiling by police. Winbush has constructed a program that draws on cultural traditions of West Africa. He starts by recommending forming a mother's "birthing circle" to provide support before the boy is born and creating a "young warriors" program (modeled on Poro societies in West Africa) when the boy turns five and continuing through adolescence. Some of the advice--providing male mentors, handling encounters with police--has been offered elsewhere, but Winbush brings great detail and cultural context to his elaborate program for raising black boys. He also provides a wealth of historical background, statistics, and resources to chronicle the current low education achievement, high incarceration, and short life spans of black men and what can be done to change those troubling trends. A valuable resource for parents, teachers, and others concerned about black youth, both girls and boys. --Vanessa Bush

Publisher's Weekly Review

Believing that "`[t]ranscending racism'... will never happen," Winbush, director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, seeks to "discover what was left in Africa, and shape it to fit the needs of black boys" inadequately served by white child-rearing strategies. Winbush describes how rituals derived from the West African Poro Society (an elite, all-male religious society) were "replaced by ceremonies taken directly from American culture." He delineates four stages, paralleling the seasons, for raising a boy from conception into adulthood. At age five, boys are "inducted into a Young Warriors Council" based on the Poro Society. By 11, boys "should be reading five books per year, have a broad understanding of their legal rights, have a worldview of African life, and have a firm understanding of computers." Thirteen-year-olds undertake "a rites-of-passage week," including "a one-hour videotaped interview with an elder male in the community." Winbush's comprehensive, Afro-centric program partakes of the ceremonial e.g., wearing "Kente cloth" and the practical, such as investment lessons. Though highly organized e.g., "Ten Commitments of the Warrior Method" Winbush's book is a hodge-podge, ranging from bits about media stereotypes and an out-of-place focus on "the black male as sexual predator" to a passage about seat-belt use and stories about the instant success of his methods, as when he achieves a breakthrough with a classful of boys by addressing each as "nigga," driving home his point that it is a negative term. Winbush's serious research, deep cultural sensibilities and abiding wisdom are undermined somewhat by anecdotes and polemics. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved