New Book “The Color Human” by Naomi Rucker, Ph.D. and Karen Lombardi, Ph.D. Is Released, a Powerful Psychohistory That Examines Growing Up With a White Mother and Black Father in the 1950s and ‘60s


“The Color Human: A Psychohistory of Self and Other, Race and Class and the Complexion of Things” by Naomi Rucker, Ph.D. and Karen Lombardi, Ph.D. has been released worldwide.  This 145-page memoir and psychohistory deftly and delicately explores Dr. Rucker’s personal journey as the only child within an interracial marriage – rare in the 50s and 60s – and examines the numerous sociocultural, psychological, and emotional factors that contributed to her lived experience. Her life story also provides a context for exploring the unconscious communication of emotions and trauma that frame our identity, sense of self, and personal relationships.  

This intimate, fascinating book is both an unusual autobiography presented by Dr. Rucker and a masterful analysis by Dr. Lombardi. Enriching the retelling of Naomi’s past, Karen Lombardi uses her broad experience and knowledge as a window into larger concepts surrounding race, culture, and humanity.

At the heart of the narrative, readers will find a candid and vulnerable account of Naomi’s life as the child of an interracial marriage growing up in the close-minded culture of mid-century America. Using traumatic experiences, as well as other critical aspects of Naomi’s life, the two authors embark on interdisciplinary reflections that span psychoanalysis, social convention, trauma responses, PTSD, cultural environments, and beyond. This analytical look at the human condition, grounded by Naomi’s story and the intricate dance between memoir and analysis, create a unique, compelling read that personalizes struggles felt by many Americans – and strives to understand the myriad factors that make us who we are.  

Tender and heartfelt at times, sophisticated and surprisingly insightful at others, Rucker and Lombardi’s work shows the care they have for one another, their broad compassion, and the rigor with which they approach their academic discipline. This truly incredible book reaches beyond the boundaries of biography and delves deeper than just scholarly scrutiny as Naomi’s personal history evokes a much richer look at the psychological and social mechanisms that drive us all.

The Color Human (ISBN: 9781960142566) can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The paperback retails for $16.95, and the ebook retails for $2.99. Interviews and review copies are available upon request. 

From the back cover:

Poignant and personal. Intimate and intriguing. Follow the psychological life of a young girl from early childhood through young adulthood growing up within a highly unusual family in highly conventional times. Dr. Naomi Rucker’s emotional journey and distinctive life leave a lasting imprint on the adult she becomes.

Written with intellectual curiosity in a thought-provoking and emotionally engaging style, Naomi’s experience as an only child within an interracial marriage in the 1950s and 1960s details her own inner life and provides a window into psychological processes present in all people. This exploration of the depths of our unconscious bonds touches on both our individuality and the commonalities that connect us as human beings.

Love, commitment, disappointment, fear, aloneness, anger, trauma are all present here as part of Naomi’s emotional history, reflecting the rigid cultural forces of the times and the pathos that always exists within the condition of being human. 

Naomi Rucker’s intimate story is enriched by the thoughtful attention of Dr. Karen Lombardi, her close friend and colleague for many decades. Dr. Lombardi’s insightful commentary and special viewpoint reveal further layers of meaning in Naomi’s history. Together, these psychoanalysts with strong ties to both clinical practice and academia, and who share perspectives on most things human, have brought the theories and concepts of their work and thinking to this very candid tale of a life.  

In The Color Human, two lifelong students of the human mind illuminate the conscious and unconscious connections in Naomi’s individual life, the lives of her close family members, and the sociocultural environments that molded all of them. With vulnerability and courage, the authors explore one individual psyche deeply, revealing psychological and social processes that mold everyone and color our common human lineage.  

“This book is a unique collaboration between two sensitive, courageous friends and writers who are able to remove psychohistory from life support and give it a new heart.  The strength of their bond is also demonstrated by their refusal to be bullied into framing the complexities of this life memoir, The Color Human, into our present cultural standard of genetic biological orientation. This is a very engaging psychoanalytic reflection on the impact of culture, race, and family on the individual psyche.” – Kirkland Vaughans, Ph.D., Founding Member, Black Psychoanalysts Speak; Founding Editor, Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy

“The Color Human presents a remarkable blend of psychoanalysis and history, revealing the personal story of a mixed-race family that will likely become more common as multi-cultural marriages thrive, prosper, and proliferate. The authors aptly challenge the idea that “race doesn’t matter,” but rather explore how and why social issues affect the lives of “mixed-race” children. The candor of this autobiographical book offers many subtle insights as we enter a new phase of the typical American family.” – Peter Carroll, Historian, Author, Poet

“Naomi Rucker’s memoir is a richly described, forthright examination of her life. But it is also a memoir by and about a psychoanalyst, and therefore possesses a wealth of insights exemplifying knowledge acquired by us as psychoanalysts in our pursuit of apprehending the inner lives of both out patients and ourselves. Moreover, Dr. Rucker’s life is intrinsically fascinating, grown up as she did as a biracial only child in the 1950s-1960s seeking ways to conquer and/or embrace isolation. Her writing displays her quick, fluid mind and is highly readable.” – Elizabeth Slater, Ph.D., Psychoanalyst 

About the authors:

Drs. Rucker and Lombardi are psychologists/psychoanalysts with decades of experience in academia and private practice, and a long-standing friendship and professional affiliation. Dr. Rucker has taught psychoanalytic theory and clinical technique on the undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels in New York, California, and currently in Georgia. During her years in Southern California, she was a Training and Supervising Analyst with two psychoanalytic institutes. Dr. Lombardi is Professor at the Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, where she teaches and supervises doctoral students in clinical psychology. She has been a Teaching and Supervising Analyst in two analytic training programs, in the New York City area and the Pacific Northwest. She has published and presented clinical and scholarly material both nationally and internationally. Together they have presented and published numerous clinical and theoretical papers in psychoanalysis, including a co-authored book entitled Subject Relations: Unconscious Experience and Relational Psychoanalysis, published by Routledge in 1988. Dr. Rucker also is the mother of two grown children and the grandmother of a young grandson. Her son is an internationally recognized newspaper journalist and editor and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. Her daughter is a successful geophysicist/geologist now working with a global engineering company. She is also the mother of the best grandchild one could ask for! Dr. Lombardi is the mother of a grown daughter, artistically talented and much beloved. She currently is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology, committed to psychoanalytic practice and social justice. Her mother is exceedingly proud of her.

About MindStir Media:

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