Grant, Gwendolyn Goldsby 19(?)(?)–
Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant 19(?)(?)–
A private consultant, Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant is a media psychologist, counselor, and advocate for sex education. She has specialized in assertiveness training, multicultural issues, affirmative action, sexual harassment issues, elder care, stress management, parenting, human sexuality, male-female relationships, and sex-role stereotyping. She has put her expertise to work for a number of Fortune 500 companies and on the talk show circuit. In addition to writing a monthly column for Essence magazine entitled, “Between Us,” in 1995 she published The Best Kind of Loving: A Black Woman’s Guide to Finding Intimacy.
Grant prepared herself well for her career in therapy and education. She earned bachelors and masters degrees in counseling and behavioral science, as well as a doctorate in both theology and education. In addition, she conducted research and studied for a year at the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Sciences at the University of New Jersey’s Medicine and Dentistry College. She has been active in a variety of organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Council of Negro Women.
For over ten years, Grant wrote the advice column, “Between Us,” for Essence which has been read by millions of women. In her column, Grant has treated such topics as dealing with quarrels in a relationship, sex during pregnancy, getting over a breakup, and orgasmic dysfunction. Her friendly and practical tone made the information easily accessible to readers.
In addition to her advice column, Grant has often appeared as a lecturer before women’s organizations, corporations, and church groups. Before becoming a columnist, she hosted a trice-weekly radio talk show from 2 a.m. to 5 ci.m. during which she answered relationship questions on the air. Since then her lectures have continued to focus on mental health. She has appeared on numerous television talk shows, including Oprah, Mortel Williams, Sally Jessy Raphael, The MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour, Geraldo, Jenny Jones, The Maury Povich Show, and The Jerry Springer Show. She has also appeared on CNN and Black Entertainment Television.
Grant has earned the moniker, “The Energizer,” for her work on the lecture circuit. At her talks geared “For Women Only,” Grant has stressed the need for women to be independent emotionally, mentally, and financially. “It’s extremely important for women for them to see themselves as in control, because many see themselves as incomplete persons without a man. That’s very dangerous,” Grant said an interview for the online Empower Magazine. “To be or not to be’ is not the question! Shakespeare was incorrect. Once you come crying into the world, you have expressed your power to be, so that’s not the question. What you will become is the question, and all of that is up to you,” Grant added.
In 1995 HarperCollins published Grant’s self-help book, The Best Kind of Loving: A Black Woman’s Guide to Finding Intimacy. For this work, Grant gathered wisdom from a number of sources, including her mother. “I interviewed women from every segment of society—including the Caribbean. I wanted the
Born Gwendolyn Goidsby; daughter of Esters and Ethel Lee Goldsby; married Ralph T. Grant, Jr. (a business professor); children: Ralph Mi, Sally-Ann, Rebecca. Education: Ph.D.
Career: Psychologist, sex educator, lecturer. Essence, advice columnist.
Memberships: Phi Delta Kapp; Phi Kappa Phi; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; National Council of Negro Women; National Association of Black Journalists.
Awards: Association of Black Psychologists, Bobby E. Wright Community Service Award.
Addresses: Home —Newark, NJ. Agent —Karen Louis, 21st Century Speakers, Inc., Gouldsboro, PA.
sisters’ voices to be in the book, not just theory from a psychologist.” she said in Essence. “One of the best things I advise sisters to do is really pay attention to the experience and wisdom of the older women in their communities.”
In The Best Kind of Loving, Grant examined the challenges many African American women face in their relationships. She provided a “blueprint for healing,” outlining the steps black women can take to prevent negative self-images. She also discussed the residual effects that slavery exerted on the relationships between black men and women. Among the issues she discussed are money, communication, stereotypes, respect, decision making, and sexual intimacy. In addition, Grant dealt with how the media influences women’s perceptions of the ideal man, how problems of unreliability and infidelity can be treated, and what to do when a relationship becomes unbalanced. Finally, she addressed the positive and negative aspects of cross-cultural dating.
In the introduction to The Best Kind of Loving, Grant professed her larger goals of strengthening individual relationships: “Too many men and women of African descent have unwittingly bought into destructive cultural myths, with the result that we sometimes see each other as stereotypes, rather than as people.” Grant explained that these myths only impede the ability of black men and women perceive each other clearly and accurately. These myths also get in the way of honest communication between black men and women. Grant continued, “I believe much can be done to improve our interpersonal relationships. From where I sit, the male-female relationship isn’t just about two people; it’s about the cohesion of the community. We’ve got to relearn ways of constructing strong male-female relationships, strong families, and strong communities.”
Not only was The Best Kind of Loving a popular seller, it attracted the praise of reviewers. “The Best Kind of Loving provides a realistic view of the complexity of black male-female interactions,” wrote Marlene F. Watson in her review for Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. “I highly recommend this book for biblio-therapy.” Marilyn Lovett-Tisdale commented in the Journal of Black Psychology that, “This book is generally comprehensive in what it offers. It might have benefited from including success stories or models to follow.” In the preface to The Best Kind of Loving, Grant stated, “This book is written for the sisters, but it has a message for America and the rest of the world: THE BEST KIND OF LOVING IS GOOD FOR ALL, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR PORT OF CALL.” Indeed, Pamela A. Matthews, writing in Library Journal, noted that “much of the information transcends race.”
Book reviewers were not the only ones to recognize the value of Grant’s work. The Association of Black Psychologists recognized Grant’s achievements by awarding her the Bobby E. Wright Community Service Award for her life’s work in psychology.
For more than four decades Gwendolyn Goldsby Grant has been married to Ralph T. Grant, Jr., a business professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. When he successfully ran for councilman-at-large for the City of Newark, Gwendolyn Grant acted as his campaign manager. The couple has raised three children.
The Best Kind of Loving: A Black Woman’s Guide to Finding Intimacy, Harper Collins, 1995.
Booklist, February 15, 1995, p. 1041.
Essence, February, 1995, p. 77.
Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, July, 1996, pp. 421-422.
Library Journal, March 1, 1995, p. 94.
New York Amsterdam News, January 28, 1995, p.21.
Publishers Weekly, January 9, 1995, p. 53.
USA Today, March 15, 1995, p. 7D.
Additional information was obtained online at the Empower Magazine website, http://empowermag.com.
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