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“Push” Author Sapphire Praises Social Workers in USA Today

Photo of Sapphire courtesy of USA Today.

Photo of Sapphire courtesy of USA Today.

Cheers to the author Sapphire for praising social workers in a Dec. 10 USA Today article on her book “Push.” The film “Precious” is based on that novel, which is about an obese, abused and pregnant teenage girl who begins to find self worth when she learns to read.

Sapphire told USA Today the movie and book share the same message:

“You can make it if you try, but you need a loving community, you need a teacher, you need a social worker, you need friends.”

Some social workers are concerned about the portrayal  of their profession in the movie (Click here to read about and listen to  National Association of Social Workers member Brenda Wade’s interaction with movie director Lee Daniels).

Sapphire defended her characters when she talked to SocialWorkersSpeak a few weeks ago. Click here to read that interview. Here’s an excerpt of that dialogue:

“I know many social workers and that influenced the creation of my character Ms Weiss. Two social workers and a social work student read the book in manuscript form before it was published and felt the portrayal of Ms Weiss was insightful and compelling.”

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  1. I believe that Sapphire’s novel did not come full circle to a “happy ending” to intentionally acknowledge some of the faults of the system and society. Even with a system full of great clinicians, too many clients walk out of the office, back into the real world without the tools they need to lead fulfilling, self determined lives.

    I am pleased to see others willing to engage in this dialogue and that a film such as this has received mainstream press.

  2. I guess most people watched it with a more optimistic mind. I did not see a girl “make it.” Major progress, sure. But the end of the movie still showed a 16-year-old single mother with one disabled child, and a history of horrific abuse, and the only therapy she had received was by an AFDC worker (last I checked, no masters, no training in trauma therapy). At the end of the movie, she had a long way to go. How will she know how to discipline? What will she do when she has sexual desires? I did not feel particularly optimistic at the end of this movie and I feel that the system continued to fail her.

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