This book is a valuable resource for all of those seeking to understand the reality faced by millions of Americans whose plight rarely finds an informed and articulate voice such as that possessed by Ms. Mitchell. Though this penetrating journal is written over thirty years ago, her intimate experience with and intricate insights into the reality faced by an expanding American underclass are as relevant today as they were then. She sheds an informing and penetrating light on race relations, poverty, mothering, gender relations and many other pertinent issues.
Foreword Magazine Book of The Year Bronze Winner: Family and Relationships, 2008.
Indies Next Generation
Book of The Year Award: Family / Parenting, 2008.
|Edition description:||Book and CD|
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||16 Years|
Table of Contents
December 1972 1
January 1973 12
February 1973 72
March 1973 128
April 1973 193
May 1973 229
June 1973 259
July 1973 293
August 1973 312
September 1973 336
October 1973 365
November 1973 379
December 1973 414
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The dictionary defines the word welfare as financial or other aid provided, especially by the government, to people in need. But does that meaning portray in true terms what someone on welfare really goes through every single day in this country. I would argue that it does not. In order to get a working understanding of someone on welfare in this country, one needs to go no further than reading Dear Self. This is a journal written over three decades ago by a phenomenal woman in a span of one year. Richelene Mitchell, a welfare mother of seven allows us to enter a world through her journal most of us have not experienced. A world of humiliation, poverty, racism, anxiety and frustration. But this story is not all about the disappointments of life but about elevating the human spirit and having the ability to live with such difficult life experiences with dignity, fortitude, mettle, and class. Ms. Mitchell's story tells us that life can throw many obstacles but know that we all have the potential for greatness regardless of our social standings. It's about patiently persevering through trials and tribulations. She was truly a remarkable woman and it was an honor to have shared a year of her life. If you want to be inspired, I highly encourage you to read this book.
Dear Self is a posthumous work of non-fiction in which the writer, Richalene Mitchell communicates to herself in a daily dialogue over a one year period. She is an intelligent, attractive, multi-talented, strong welfare mother, and single parent struggling with an all consuming web of economic deprivation, societal bias, crippling racism and pulverized dreams. She writes of the self-abnegating care that she struggles with to raise seven children in the projects of New Britain, Connecticut. Daily, she laments the loneliness, hopeliness and failures that have brought her to the point of despair. Antonymously, Richalene also celebrates life. The reader is allowed to participate in the happy and loving moments with her children and the joyous events that did not come often, but did exist. She documents her hopes and dreams for each of her children. Despite the modicum of achievements they witness in the projects, Richalene instills in them the zeal to succeed. The author is a prolific writer who is able to captivate her readers into a massive cocoon of emotions. This true story superlatively imparts depth, conviction and passion. The reader is so paralyzed by the events of each day and desires to read on without interruption. Dear Self magnetizes us all into Richalene Mitchell's world of meager, yet determined existence.
Most of us have never ventured to the housing projects or spoken to the disheveled mother at the supermarket removing items from her shopping cart to make sure she can afford it all. Dear Self, provides rare and surprising insight on poverty in America. Sharp witted, faithfully honest and self-critical Richelene Mitchell shares her acute observations on the welfare system, healthcare, politics and the people around her. She presents life in all its loneliness, joy, humor, determination and intense sadness - in other words, its humanity. This book is all the more poignant and absorbing because it was written as a personal diary and found after the author passed away.
The book Dear Self is an excellent book that everyone should read. It really draws the reader into never wanting to put it down. It appeals to people of every upbringing, age, and culture. The reader will feel as though they have experienced what the very writer has gone through. The emotions of sadness, happiness, and times of struggle have an immense affect on any person who reads this book. Superbly put together, Dear Self proves that with struggle there is ease. Richelene Mitchell, who documents these stories in a diary, proves that, although everyone has struggles or difficulties in life, with determination, patience, and acceptance of those struggles, one will succeed. What I found amazing about the writer was the fact that she never expressed pain throughout her illness of epilepsy. She continued to provide for her seven children, with endless love and support. This is most definitely a book that everyone can learn at least one lesson from, especially through the writer¿s strength, patience, and courage. Suzanne Derani Chicago, Illinois Sept. 10, 2007