Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul [NOOK Book]


Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul is a rich collection of stories that truly celebrate the mountaintops and share the valleys of the African American woman’s experience; highlighting her moments of strength, as well as her struggles. This candid, touching, and inspiring collection of stories proves that the spirit of sisterhood extends beyond geography, economics, age, and time. Whether we’re passing on family traditions, keeping the faith, or just keepin’ it real, one thing is for sure; we ...
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Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul

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Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul is a rich collection of stories that truly celebrate the mountaintops and share the valleys of the African American woman’s experience; highlighting her moments of strength, as well as her struggles. This candid, touching, and inspiring collection of stories proves that the spirit of sisterhood extends beyond geography, economics, age, and time. Whether we’re passing on family traditions, keeping the faith, or just keepin’ it real, one thing is for sure; we are here because of the shoulders we stand on. Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul will leave you feeling as if you’ve just shared a sacred space with some legendary African American women through quotes or stories from Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, Mary McLeod Bethune, and modern day heroines like Patti LaBelle, Halle Berry, and Queen Latifah. Experience inspiring moments of ordinary sisters doing extraordinary things in the world like voting in a time when voting could cost you your life to learning the true meaning of self love through the simple gesture of letting your hair down. Allow these stories—exclusively for sisters, from sisters—encourage and inspire you as you feed your soul and soothe your spirit.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781453275313
  • Publisher: Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/7/2012
  • Series: Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 401,099
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. They are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others. Lisa Nichols, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the African American Soul, is a professional speaker and founder of Motivating the Teen Spirit, LLC, an outreach group for disadvantaged youth. She is recipient of the 2003 Trail Blazers Award, Lego Land Heart of Learning Award, and the Emotional Literacy Award. She lives in Michigan, but spends much of the year in Southern California. 
Jack Canfield is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his life to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.
Mark Victor Hansen is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a professional speaker who has dedicated his life to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.


While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt


And so our mothers and grandmothers have,
more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see—or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.

Alice Walker

Somehow, it just didn't feel right. Maybe it was the way that I was brought up, but it was hard for me to say it.
Although I felt blessed and honored to have the opportunity,
I just had a hard time saying aloud that I was "a graduate student at Harvard University." After all, I know good and well that I'm just a country girl from Sweetwater,
Tennessee, who never saw herself as the Ivy League type, but what impression did that title give people who didn't know me?

I was not alone in this dilemma. Many of my black and Latino colleagues in the Graduate School of Education felt the same way. Several of us had to admit that when we told people we were going to graduate school and they asked where, we answered evasively, "Uh, Boston." It wasn't that we were embarrassed about being smart or weren't proud to be there; it was just that the perception people have of "Hah-vahd," conjured up images of privilege and snobbery. Many of us were first–generation college graduates from lower to middle-class families, and most of us were there because we wanted to give back something of educational value to the underserved students of color in America's schools. We actually discussed more than once whether going to Harvard was an asset or liability when our goal was to return to the neighborhoods we came from, "keep it real," and be taken seriously by regular folks. Would we build a "barrier of bourgeoisie" by having a Harvard degree?

Very quickly it was June and graduation day arrived. An incredibly rich year of reading, writing and discussing educational issues had flown by, and I was standing outside in a processional line with my dorm mates and new friends-so-close-we-were-almost-family from the Black Student Union. I sat dazed in my cap and gown on the same lawn where I'd seen Nelson Mandela receive an honorary degree back in September. I sat in a row of brown faces on the lawn with its giant oak trees that had been there since 1636 and tried to comprehend what in the world I was doing there. While the platform dignitaries waxed eloquent, it felt surreal. I snapped back to reality when it was Hazel's turn to take the platform.

Hazel Trice Edney, graduating from the Kennedy School of Government, was my friend from the dorm and one of the sharpest sisters I have ever met. She had won the speech contest and was believed to be the first African American woman ever to give the graduate student address at a Harvard graduation. Hazel from Louisa,
Virginia, who had grown up in a home with no indoor plumbing and became a single welfare mother at age fifteen,
had managed to earn her college degree and risen through journalism in the black press, covering politicians like Governor L. Douglas Wilder. She would soon start a Congressional fellowship in Washington, D.C., in the office of Senator Edward Kennedy. Her delivery of the speech was flawless, and we were all proud to know her.

Suddenly, listening to Hazel, proudly watching her represent all of us, it hit me. This wasn't about me. I was there as a representative. I looked up into the branches of the centuries-old trees and thought about what they would have looked like back in 1636. I thought about where my ancestors would have been in 1636 . . . 1736 . . . 1836 . . .
even 1936, and how remote the possibility seemed that any of their daughters would ever be at Harvard. I thought about Grandma Mildred, valedictorian of her Cook High class with her career options so limited. No,
this degree was not about me at all. This was about standing on the shoulders of my black grandmothers who scrubbed floors and cared for babies—both theirs and others'. Black women whose potential went untapped and whose intelligence was so long ignored. Women whose great minds could have been idle, except they rerouted genius, pouring it into rearing the next generation. This degree was for my grandma, who was a farmer's wife and a housekeeper, but never just that, like so many black women seen only as the shadow domestic by the outside world but who stood out as pillars of dignity in their own communities. This degree was dedicated to a woman who had to sacrifice many of her personal dreams as a young woman, but made sure all eight of her children had a respect for education and would ascend to the level of their own potential. It was dedicated to a woman who passed on heritage to her numerous grandchildren with old Ebony and Jet magazines, her gardens and recipes,
family stories and photo albums. I was here because she could not be, but had the self-respect and insight to pass something significant on to her offspring.

Sometimes I still have a hard time knowing just what to say when people ask me about graduate school, but right there in Harvard Yard, I made my peace with it. Grandma Mildred didn't know it, but when I walked across that stage, I did not just get my own degree. I held in my hands her honorary degree in motherwit, holistic medicine,
childhood development, home economics, culinary arts and botany earned by life experience. That degree was about stepping up to accept my responsibility to follow in her footsteps and pass something on. Thank you, Grandma,
for your legacy.

-Jerilyn Upton Sanders

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2006

    A Celebration of Culture!

    I love books of self discovery! They celebrate life as a PROUD, STRONG, African American Woman! But also it shows the delcate, beautiful, Natural side of the African American Woman. In the smallest butterfly or the highest tree. In the greenest grass or the softest breeze! A celebration of LIFE!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    I have been reading this book through my journey of self discovery. To read the stories in this book and see that your struggles are felt by other African American women leaves me speachless. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I have even read some of the stories to my children and they also loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2006


    I absolutely loved this book! It was so refreshing and rejuvenating to read these inspirational stories by African American women.It gave me more fuel to continue my journey towards self-actualization!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2013

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