Real Stories of Pain, Truth and Triumph
Edited by Marilynn Griffith
Book Review by Kam Williams
“The women in this book have come a long way to meet you. Some of them write under a new name to protect their families. Others speak in their own name to save their lives...
As you read these stories, be comforted if you are afflicted. Be clothed with the robe of many colors, the garment of praise. Walk with us on a journey past hurt, past shame, past rejection.
A journey straight to the heart of God.”
-- Excerpted from the Introduction (pg. xv)
It was perhaps a watershed moment for the black community, when Mo’Nique, during her tearful acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, said she was sharing her Award with all the Preciouses and with anyone “who’s ever been touched,” ostensibly meaning molested as a child. “It’s now time to tell, and it’s okay,” she assured, being an incest survivor who’d come out of the closet herself. With so many sisters still silently suffering as victims of abuse, it is hoped that the movie might inspire some to seek help.
A timely-arriving aid in this regard is SistahFaith: Real Stories of Pain, Truth and Triumph. This intimate collection of tales of individuals overcoming adversity was compiled by Marilynn Griffith, who was sexually assaulted at 13 and became a mother at 14. The book is comprised of dozens of moving memoirs recounting nightmares involving everything from incest to rape to abortion to attempted suicide.
This cautionary tome’s contributors come from all walks of life, including several celebrities, such as Bunny DeBarge of the renowned Motown recording group. She talks about how she turned to drugs to repress the fact that she’d been molested by a family member for years. She blames her terribly self-destructive spiral on being stuck in denial and without a shoulder to lean on.
Although shame and humiliation seems to be a recurring theme in these women’s tragic lives, fortunately, so is redemption, especially with the help of God. Considerable solace is taken in the scriptural passages referring to the Biblical character Tamar (2 Samuel 13:2) who was raped by her own brother.
In sum, SistahFaith is a heartening, hopeful reminder that healing, compassion and support await those vulnerable souls ready to take the painful steps along the path to salvation and emotional, physical and spiritual recovery.