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Communication Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King Help African American Families Navigate Relationships, Marriage and Even Divorce

Jan 19th 2015 at 12:51 AM

(1888 PressRelease) Lester L. Barclay, author of the book, The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down, believes that 25 percent of African American marriages in his practice could be saved from ending by applying some of Dr. Martin Luther King's most effective communication skills and techniques. Communication is clearly a key component in helping a marriage survive and thrive.

Chicago, Ill. - There is no doubt that Dr. Martin Luther King was a skilled communicator. His "I Have A Dream" speech is as iconic to the American public's consciousness as Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Notwithstanding all of his distinguished awards, most notable among them the Nobel Prize, his Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album is still perhaps the most direct tribute to his talents as a communicator who clearly conveyed his message in a way that motivated and inspired change.

"When we think of Dr. Martin Luther King, we think of a great civil rights leader, not 'Grammy Award Winner,'" said Chicago family law practitioner, Lester L. Barclay, author of the book, The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down. "However, this nod by pop culture shows how far-reaching and powerful his communications were and shows that we can learn from his skills."

In fact, Barclay believes that 25 percent of African American marriages in his practice could be saved from ending by applying some of King's most effective communication skills and techniques. Communication is clearly a key component in helping a marriage survive the rough times. Lessons that can be applied to relationships from King's communication skills include:

•    Say what you mean
•    Make things clear and easy to understand
•    Repeat what is important
•    Stick with your values
•    Rely on your faith
•    Believe in your convictions

Dr. King didn't become an amazing communicator overnight. In fact, these skills and practices are not always easy to achieve. In today's schools, much of the focus is often on teaching to the standardized tests as opposed to life skills like good interpersonal skills, communication and relationship building. As with many other skills, practice is essential to hone and maintain these skills for individuals, couples and families.

Barclay frequently recommends counseling to his clients, "A professional counselor can often help people communicate better. Whether a couple decides to stay together or split, honest, open communication will help them in the next chapter of their lives."

Learn More -The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down is a detailed guide that skillfully shepherds readers through the often painful process of separation and divorce while seeking to minimize the drama for them and their children. It is being distributed to chain and independent bookstores, wholesalers, libraries, gift and specialty markets and online retailers through Small Press United and is also available in hardcover and as an ebook from Khari Publishing, Ltd., at http://www.divorceanddrama.com.

Lester L. Barclay is the managing partner of the Barclay Law Group in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, he has practiced matrimonial law since 1985. In that time, he has earned a sterling reputation as a skilled litigator who seeks to maintain the family's integrity during and after divorce.

In addition to his law practice, Barclay is a legal advocate for the disadvantaged and a helpful mentor to young attorneys. He has also been actively involved in civic affairs, serving as president of both the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture and the Christian Community Health Center in Chicago, and he is a member of the Illinois African-American Family Commission.

His passionate calling is to help children who are so often the collateral damage in custody and divorce matters. Frequently, courts appoint him guardian ad litem to protect the interests of children in marital breakups.

Lester L. Barclay lives in Chicago with his wife, Dr. Sue Barclay, and their three children. To learn more about Barclay, his practice and his book, please visit www.DivorceandDrama.com.

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