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August 11, 2017
On Campus

Be-Longing

New Book By Wittenberg Professor Examines Personal Journey

Wittenberg University Associate Professor of Philosophy Julius Bailey recently completed a memoir, Be-Longing: Triumph in the Mirror, a self-published piece of narrative non-fiction.

The author of five books including the award-winning Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams: The Age of Obama and Beyond (Broadview, 2015), Bailey is a Christian existentialist, philosopher, cultural critic, social theorist and diversity lecturer. His latest work is a lyrical coming-of-age story about himself, a troubled kid from the south side of Chicago and how he battles haunting demons in search for love and acceptance.

“This project's success will be tested upon the numbers of men who seek professional counseling and the number of women who take the time to love them through their mess,” said Bailey, who returns to the classroom this fall after a year on sabbatical.

“Students at Wittenberg pushed me to not only see love as possible, but see love as necessary for a healthy human existence. As much as I argued the fallibility and instability of love (based on my own life's lessons), most challenged me to revisit my decisions and possibly even seek therapy. Little did they know that the gentle push toward mental health therapy was all I needed to turn my life around,” he added.

In Be-Longing: Triumph in the Mirror, Bailey describes his journey of overcoming struggles, finding the meaning of love and learning about what it takes to be open, vulnerable and present. He explains his journey of sought-out connections, failed relationships and depression, before finally coming face-to-face with himself and God.

“The book, as four of the five of mine, was birthed from classroom conversations at Wittenberg,” said Bailey, founder of Project Eight, a youth service organization that focuses on leadership and civic participation. “Not only do I use my real-life examples in classroom moments, but I challenge students to challenge me and my decision-making. A philosophy course, Love, Death and Desire, was the chief impetus for this book.”

Reviews of the book to date include:

  • “Dr. Bailey's memoir is a much-needed tome that highlights both the reality of black male frailty and the necessity for self-introspection. His personal journey serves as a reminder of the need for rituals of healing, therapy, and wholeness.” -- Kamasi Hill, Ph.D., educator and filmmaker.
     
  • “Julius Bailey is one of the leading philosophers of his generation. In this powerful and painful memoir, he delves into the profound depths of his own wounded soul and emerges with a shining dignity and witness. Don't miss this timely text." -  Cornel West, professor of public philosophy at Harvard University.

Bailey, who has been at Wittenberg since 2011, received many accolades for his fourth book Racial Realities and Post-Racial Dreams: The Age of Obama and Beyond, including a Silver Award in current events in social issues/humanitarian from the Independent Book Publishers and a Gold Award in Government and Politics from the Readers' Favorite Reviews. The book provided critical exploration of wealth and poverty, mass incarceration, voting rights, gender discrimination, Islamophobia and immigration.

Bailey has been interviewed on CNN, Fox, B.E.T, and ABC Nightline. A guest on numerous radio shows as a social critic and education advisor, he is often invited to speak at colleges, prisons and community organizations across America. Bailey, who holds master’s degrees from Howard and Harvard Universities and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, will be speaking about mental health awareness at the second annual Acting Out! Fest in Cleveland, Ohio, Sept. 13-16.

Bailey’s other books released since joining Wittenberg include The Cultural Impact of Kanye West (Palgrave, 2014) and Philosophy and Hip Hop (Palgrave, 2014).  His latest work can be viewed at www.belongingthebook.com or through Bailey’s publishing partner, www.iuniverse.com.

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About Wittenberg

A nationally ranked university for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Wittenberg University has repeatedly been ranked throughout the years by the Princeton Review for the quality of its teaching and faculty, including 11th in the nation for “Best Classroom Experience” and 15th in the category “Professors Get High Marks” in the 2011 edition of Princeton’s annual Best Colleges guide. Most recently, Wittenberg earned the No. 4 spot in the category of “Most Accessible Professors.” Wittenberg appeared in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges in 2013 and again in 2015. Additionally, Wittenberg currently has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any other four-year institution in the state, and has been recognized nationally for excellence in service and athletics.

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