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Books, Journals, New Media
August 26, 1998

Race, PsychiatryRace and Excellence: My Dialogue with Chester Pierce

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 1998;280(8):752-753. doi:10.1001/jama.280.8.752-JBK0826-3-1

In his preface, Dr Griffith notes the importance of how African Americans tell the stories of their lives, and his book is an outstanding example of this art. He asserts that the major achievement of any storytelling method is to fill a void by the story's nonexistence. Griffith's book does much more than simply fill a vacuum. Having previously studied Dr Pierce's work, I found Griffith's dialogue with our hero fascinating reading. This small book is chock full of the wisdom of a scholarly, septuagenarian African American psychiatrist. I had a difficult time putting the book down, as it brought me a great deal of sadness, anger, humor, confirmation, and understanding.

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