When Vincent Ellis White began counseling women through the Richmond Department of Social Services, he noticed a common problem: They were angry because men were manipulating them.
“I knew this because I used to do the same thing,” he says. Growing up in the South Side, raised by his mother, grandmother and aunt, White had been a bit of a player. He never knew his father and was told he was in jail. With the influence of his church and later, the birth of his child, White says he matured and did “a complete 180.”
He wrote the book, “The Fully-Seasoned Man's Relationship Recipe: The Men's Confessional/Women's Tutorial,” to help women and keep families from breaking apart, a widespread problem he views as contributing to anger in the black community. “It's inspiring women to find more self-worth and set the bar higher,” White says. “It equips them with the knowledge to weed out these men.”
The book, a bestseller for Maryland-based Publish America, has allowed him to speak to pregnant teens in the area and through the Mayor's Youth Academy, while he works with at-risk youth through Intercept Youth Services.
White's life has changed too. When he was 16, his mother told him that his real father was named Chris Anderson, who'd never been told of his existence. For 10 years, while White got a college degree and a master's degree in education, he searched for his father to no avail. Three years ago his mother was visiting his grandmother in Chippenham Hospital. She noticed the familiar eyes of a man in scrubs who turned out to be Anderson. For Christmas she gave her son a journal with his father's contact information; a paternity test confirmed the relationship and the two have become best friends.
“There was a divine plan in that,” White says. “I turned what I was doing that was wrong in my life into a blessing for others and God helped me.”
White's next book, “Finding Chris, My Father” comes out in March. “Yeah, my dad can't wait for this Top 40 issue,” White says. “He said he's gonna grab every copy.”