Defying the Verdict: My Bipolar Life
Charita Cole Brown (Curbside Splendor Publishing)
Brown, a lifelong Baltimorean, has written her autobiography with a cool detachment from her ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, as if a casual observer of her own story. The pace quickens each time she spirals into a hypomania cycle, which seems to grow in intensity each round, although months and even years of stability fall in between. Through family support, her lifelong Christian faith, and ultimately finding the right combination of medicine after being committed to hospitals on multiple occasions, Brown finds peace. And she does, indeed, defy the verdict placed upon her by doctors, who insisted she’d eventually need custodial care and that marrying and having children were off the table.
The Colored Waiting Room
Kevin Shird with Nelson Malden (Apollo Publishers)
This book—its title references blacks still being persecuted, despite progress—weaves together Baltimore writer/activist Shird’s memoir with that of Malden, who was a friend, barber, and confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the apex of the civil rights movement. We gain insight into King’s life and struggles, all while hearing firsthand accounts of the country’s upheaval. And for those who, like Shird, want to freshen up on their knowledge of African-American history, a helpful timeline highlights pivotal moments along the way from the era of Dred Scott to Freddie Gray.