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Oakland Author’s Book Inspired by Black Community’s Quest for Love



Black Love Healing Circles held at author Aswad Aarif’s East Oakland home led to the handbook. Courtesy photo and image. Special to The Post

A new book, “The Black Love Revolutionary’s Handbook: Radical Acts of Healing, Resistance and Celebration” takes a unique look at relationships through the lens of historical trauma and healing.

The author, Aswad Aarif, is an Oakland native who has worked to address social justice and community wellness issues for over 25 years.

In 2012, Aswad and his wife, Danyelle Aarif, began holding Black Love Healing Circles in their home to create a space for the restoration and celebration of the Black community.

From facilitating diverse group conversations, they learned many lessons, not the least of which is that there exists in society a prevalent belief that Black relationships are often broken, dysfunctional, and unstable. The fact that Black people are more likely to be impacted by trauma plays a large role in the challenges they face in their relationships is not taken into consideration.

The author’s journey began with the realization that many Black people had shared their desire for better models for their interpersonal relationships. They needed new models because:

  • The lack of positive and healthy representations of Black relationships in the media
  • The historical and ongoing legacy of racism and discrimination, which has hurt Black families and communities
  • The intersection of racism with other forms of oppression, such as sexism and homophobia, which can further complicate Black interpersonal relationships

Aarif recognized that despite these challenges, Black communities and individuals possess vast strengths and knowledge. He saw a deep desire among Black people to build and maintain healthy and loving relationships.

This book is a love letter to the resilience of the Black community and the beauty of Afrocentric wisdom.

Beginning with a historical perspective of Black relationships and families leading into modern relationships, the full-color, 300-plus-page book interweaves practical information and advice with powerful images and quotes about Black love.

The result is a book that will help readers understand themselves and others better and help them use behavioral science and cultural traditions to improve their connections.

In light of all of the challenges facing Black families and couples today, it can be hard to sustain healthy relationships. Still, by setting a foundation of respect, equality, joy, and wellness, they can make love a healing resource in their lives.

Aarif hopes his book will inspire and empower Black people to build and maintain the relationships they deserve.  He is also the author of several other books, including “Maybe I’m Happy: An Emotional Literacy Book for Kids,” “100 Conversations About Antiracism,” “Freedom Day: A Children’s Book About Juneteenth,” and more.

“The Black Love Revolutionary’s Handbook: Radical Acts of Healing, Resistance and Celebration” is available on

The post Oakland Author’s Book Inspired by Black Community’s Quest for Love first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.


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