Training Black Spirit (Paperback)

Ethics for African American Teens

By William L. Conwill Ph. D.

Ronin Publishing (CA), 9781579512224, 180pp.

Publication Date: August 9, 2016

List Price: 18.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Like all teens, African American teens find themselves wondering what they should or should not be doing and how they should behave toward each other -- only they often have no male role model in the home and negative models, like gang-banger, on the street. As they struggle to build their characters, they receive feedback from multiple sources, causing confusion. Training Black Spirit offers a guide through the fog of adolescence by providing a personal training aid in ethics -- values -- especially tailored for Black teens. It holds that our spirits, which protect and sustain us, direct and unify our thoughts, efforts, and actions.

Author Dr. William L. Conwill helps Black teens prepare for adulthood in the family, the community, and the world by developing their characters. Training Black Spirit builds upon African American cultural heritage, which is all too often absent from Black teens' experience. The principles presented here provide directives or instructions on living, as well as a defense against destructive influences. like drugs and violence. These principles are represented throughout the text by Adinkra symbols, along with a martial-arts self-defense interpretation for each principle, which teens discuss with an adult facilitator.

Drawing on brain science, transpersonal psychology, and mainstream psychiatry, as well as ancient traditions, Training Black Spirit guides Black teens in conducting a personal and conscious examination of the traditional principles that enable us to survive, create, and nurture life.

Keeping teens from heading down the wrong road is am increasing challenge. Training Black Spirit is a guide for young, black teens to explore their personal values or ethics through the use of symbols and values from West African culture to help build character. The book prepares teens for obstacles they will met with in life, providing values and behaviors for coping with challenging life experiences.

In light of recent events in Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere, many black teens find themselves at a crossroads: Who are they today, and who do they want to be in the future? Training Black Spirit is a guide for teens dealing with these difficult challenges. As a psychologist Dr. Conwill has worked extensively with teens in various settings, helping them their challenges, providing ethical principles to guide them through.

About the Author

Dr. William L. Conwill is the author of numerous international and national publications. His professional roles have included psychologist, healer, martial arts instructor, and educator. He consults for educational, governmental, community, and professional organizations. He is married, has three adult sons, and currently lives in Champaign and Chicago, IL. As a research clinician, educator and consultant, William L. Conwill has served in a number of leadership roles in health, educational and governmental institutions: Counseling Psychologist II (UC, Santa Cruz); Consultation and Education Unit Chief (San Mateo County Department of Mental Health); Chief Outpatient Psychologist/Director, Chronic Pain Clinic (U of Louisville School of Medicine, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Medicine Division); Community Statistical Research Associate (City of Louisville Office of Human Services); Chief Psychologist (Tennessee Department of Mental Health/Mental Retardation, Lakeshore Mental Health Institute, Children & Youth Division). Significant areas of his applied psychological practice include behavioral medicine (stress management, chronic pain management, AIDS/HIV training for health care providers, domestic violence theory), behavior management (parent management training, school and community violence, ethnoviolence, self-defense), and training workshops for social justice interventions. Conwill is also associated with Implementation Sciences International, Inc. (ISII), a research-based, non-profit organization providing training for community practitioners in Parent Management Training - the Oregon Model (PMTO(TM)). ISII is an affiliate organization of Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC) founded by Gerald R. Patterson and the late John Reid, based in Eugene, Oregon ( Awards: UF Black Student Assembly 2008 Scholarship Award. Arts of the Samurai Inochi Award. 2007 AMCD Presidential Award for Meritorious Service and Exemplary Diversity Leadership Award. Florida Gold Coast Martial Arts Hall of Fame (Master Instructor) Inductee. Ringshout the Route National Rite of Initiation into African American Culture (Distinguished Elder). 2005 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame (Martial Artist of the Year). 2004 Gold Medalist, Synchronized Forms; Gold Medalist, Empty-hand Forms; Gold Medalist, Sparring. Silver Medalist, Exhibition Sparring at 2004 World Games, Athens, Greece. 2003 USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. 2003 Gold Medalist, Black Belt Weapons Forms; Silver Medalist, Synchronized Forms at U.S. National Martial Arts Team World Cup Meet, Cancun, Mexico. University of Tennessee Best Practices @ UT Showcase 2002: Campus-based Activist Research on Tolerance and Diversity (UT System-wide Award)