Joseph R. Gibson, Ed.S. is an internationally recognized author, independent publisher, and dedicated urban educator. After writing his first major title On Becoming a God: Philosophies, Observations, Opinions, Prose, and Poetry on Black Life as Seen from the Eye of the Storm (KITABU Publishing, 1999) and establishing KITABU Publishing, LLC while still an undergraduate at Grambling State University, Joseph soon began an extensive career in urban education. He began as an innovative, project-based social studies teacher in Atlanta, GA and currently is a solution-oriented school administrator in Detroit, MI. Throughout his career he has focused several of his book projects on issues directly related to what he experienced as an urban educator, including How to Talk to Human Beings: Communicating Critically and Constructively with Difficult Urban Students (Pathways Global Press/KITABU Publishing, 2012) and The Monsters We Make: Unconscious Racism and Stereotype-based Teacher Expectations in the 21st Century Urban Classroom (Pathways Global Press/KITABU Publishing, 2013).
Joseph’s best-selling book When God Was a Black Woman And Why She Isn’t Now (KITABU Publishing, 2008) advances the work of Merlin Stone by crafting a well-researched argument that not only was there a time in world history when God was a woman, as originally claimed by Stone, but at this time God was identifiably a Black woman. It bothered him that Stone could write a book about When God Was a Woman (Mariner Books, 1978) and then later write a book on Three Thousand Years of Racism (New Sibylline Books, 1981), which focuses on uncovering evidence of racism imposed by Indo-Europeans after they conquered most of the same regions discussed in When God Was a Woman, and fail to connect the probability that the Goddesses she first wrote about were originally depicted as Black women. How could she admit that historical, mythological, and archaeological evidence suggests that it was these northern people who brought with them the concepts of light as good and dark as evil (very possibly the symbolism of their racial attitudes toward the darker people of the southern areas) and of a supreme male deity; but not admit that the Goddess of theses Black people was also Black before they and She were conquered by White people (i.e., Indo-Europeans).
His recently published How Racism Has Changed the Human Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Chronic Stress of Everyday Racism in Contemporary America (KITABU Publishing, 2016) explores the unprecedented relationship between the chronic stress of everyday racism and stress-related neuroplasticity. Much like Eric Jensen has argued for about a decade that the cumulative stress of experiencing chronic poverty can literally change the human brain, Joseph believes that the cumulative stress of experiencing everyday racism every day has literally changed the brains of Americans both Black and White. All of this is largely attributable to the interplay of chronic stress and neuroplasticity. Richard Davidson and Bruce McEwen identified that the human brain is “constantly being shaped, wittingly and unwittingly, by environmental forces that impinge upon organisms. Among the influences on brain structure and function that are most powerful in inducing plastic change are social influences.” One of the most consistent, ubiquitous social influences available in America is racism; thus, it’s only logical to conclude that racism is one of, if not the most powerful influences on (changers of) brain structure and function (i.e., neuroplasticity) of Americans.
His latest work is Becoming Bulletproof: Examining a Global Historical Pattern of Killing Black People with Impunity (KITABU Publishing, 2019). Becoming Bulletproof explains how the consequences for killing Black people in America have not been consistently unpleasant enough to create a sustainable deterrence (to killing Black people). That’s terribly problematic, yet mainstream America has never allowed it to be deemed as such—conceivably for no other reason than the murdered being Black and our skin color somehow being perceived as a threat. Perhaps the goal here has never actually been to discourage future perpetrators or diminish mass tolerance with regard to the killing of Black people, especially not at the risk of foregoing successful boundary maintenance, which is the specific reason why America only kills Black people.
Joseph is a dynamic public speaker experienced in delivering noteworthy presentations on topics ranging from urban classroom management to social entrepreneurship to the historical sexualization of the African-American female image. Please feel free to contact him directly for speaking engagements.