Before I get started with this book review, allow me to give you a bit of a back story. This won’t always happen but I feel the need to share it with y’all. I was given this book by a local author named Jessie Lee Perez. A couple of weeks ago, she and I had agreed to meet at the Starbucks on Charlotte Avenue at a certain time and I showed up 45 minutes late. I felt horrible about my tardiness. The perfectionist in me shows up to everything 15 minutes early. However, this arranged meeting happened to fall on a day that I had the worst morning I could have. Because of it being such a horrible morning, I laid down to take a twenty-minute nap. What I thought was a twenty minute nap ended up being a two-hour sleep, spilling over into the time I had agreed to meet with her. I still feel horrible about it but learning to accept it.
What I will say is this mishap was the turning point for me in dealing with a personal vice. It’s strange how life works. Sometimes the things we least expect to happen are what we need to happen in order to change our course of actions. Although I would have preferred to have been on time for our meeting, and I truly hate that I borderline stood her up, I can say I learned enough from that experience to get a head start on changing things about myself. Maybe one day I’ll go into details about what happened that morning, maybe not. Only time will tell. But for now, I hope you go buy her new book titled “Color by Design.” Just so y’all know, gold and green are my dominant colors. I know this is so from two different color-based personality tests I’ve taken, all of which aligned with the descriptions Perez provides in her book, too. Now for my review…
"Color by Design" by Jessie Lee Perez
When I first saw the cover of the book, I thought two things: (1) it was about socioeconomics and racial barriers and (2) “Oh God, not a kumbaya!” I was hesitant about reading it for the mere fact that I didn’t want to read anything political since I had recently finished “If He Hollers, Let Him Go” by Chester Himes. Too real, too deep, too soon!
After reading the book’s Amazon summary, I was relieved to find that “Colors by Design” was supposed to be more of an awareness book than anything else. Upon completing it, I can verify that it did not disappoint.
In the beginning of the book, participants’ feedback is shared from Perez’s personality workshop called True Colors. Participants were thrilled about identifying their temperament colors. They suggested that learning about their temperament colors allowed them to think of how they could better engage with others while remaining true to themselves.
While reading this I reassessed my strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who knows me know that I do this a lot! In the midst of my turmoil, I couldn’t have read a better book. When I thought things weren’t adding up, reading this made it all make sense to me. I know that our temperament is how we are designed and molded by our life experiences. However, these color categories helped me in isolating certain behavioral patterns of my own. I believe understanding the why is crucial in resolving any confusion or conflicts. This book is a great way for people to learn and understand the variables involved in engaging with other people like or unlike themselves. If you ever wondered why some people in your life are easier to understand than others, their temperament colors may have a little something to do with that.
Lastly, Perez’s final thoughts are everything I strive to live by on a daily basis. When I reached her final thoughts in the book, I felt relieved to know that there was someone writing about diversity so close to home. Not only that, Perez provides a clear guide to understanding the way people think and respond to various situations due to their temperament. She uses her own real-life examples to further explain any abstract concepts from this continued study on temperament. I do believe this study is a way to unify individuals in a world full of differences. Get the book to fully understand what I’m talking about.
Three Favorite Lines in the Book:
“What do others need to be the best they can be, and how can I help give that to them” (Perez 96)?
“It is very often that misunderstandings and offenses come because people are oblivious to the expectations and needs of others” (Perez 96).
“Don’t let your enterprise, your family, and your nation, fail because diversity was superficial, or because it was a wedge instead of the unifier-adopt a culture of color. Learn to speak color today and become an agent for unity” (Perez 112).
“Colors by Design” (Amazon)