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Literati is pleased to welcome Monica A. Coleman in support of her memoir, Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman's Journey with Depression and Faith.
In a new memoir, Coleman reflects on the legacies of slavery, poverty, war, and alcoholism, and how these conditions can mask a history of mental illness. At once spiritual autobiography and memoir of madness, Bipolar Faith is the book Dr. Coleman was hoping to find when she was diagnosed with bipolar II, a mental illness. She could not find a single memoir written about living with bipolar II, which is characterized by periods of deep depressions balanced by periods of productivity and energy. Moreover, she found precious few memoirs that engage religion and faith in truly constructive ways.
While the taboo around depression in the African-American faith community is diminishing, "I think there are people suffering from depression and bipolar disease who are also striving to maintain their faith. There are few guides or safe places where they can discuss their feelings," says Coleman. This book is for them and their allies.
“Monica Coleman writes with the artistry of a poetic storyteller, the intimacy of someone who has studied depression from the inside, and the courageous transparency of someone who knows the cost of silence. Weaving cultural truths with the reality of hope and despair, Coleman’s latest book is a testimony that unmasks psychological struggles, family discord, and the quest for wholeness. As a scholar and minister, Coleman has crafted a book that creates a safe space for people of faith to reflect on their journey toward truth, balance, and self acceptance.”—Thema Bryant-Davis, Past President, Society for the Psychology of Women, and Co-Editor, Womanist and Mujerista Psychologies: Voices of Fire, Acts of Courage
Monica A. Coleman, MDiv, PhD, teaches theology and African-American religions at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, CA. At CST, she was recently promoted to the position of full professor--making her the first African-American woman full professor at CST. She is a philosophical theologian who works with a process metaphysic, and the black and womanist theological traditions. Her writings cover womanist theology, sexual abuse, and the African-American experience.
Dr. Coleman is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a sought-after speaker and preacher. In 2005, the African American Pulpit names Coleman one of the "Top 20 to Watch--The New Generation of Leading Clergy: Preachers under 40." Dr. Coleman has been featured as an expert in religion and mental health on NPR, Beliefnet.com, PsychCentral.com, and Huffington Post Live. She blogs on faith and depression at www.beautifulmindblog.com