Noted family attorney Lester L. Barclay authors tell-all book on divorce


Drawing from more than 25 years of legal experience as a matrimonial lawyer, Chicago-based attorney Lester L. Barclay has authored The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down, the first-ever comprehensive book on divorce tailored specifically for African-Americans. The 277-page guide skillfully shepherds readers through the often painful process of separation and divorce, while seeking to minimize the “drama” and trauma for them and their children. Its message focuses primarily on divorce and non-marital separation, alongside custody, visitation, child support, financial disputes, and related issues in the context of African-American cultural and social realities.

The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama is Barclay’s first book, and the initial offering from Khari Publishing, Ltd. It officially debuted at BookExpo America 2013 in New York City, May 29 – June 1. The book, which features a foreword by TV’s Judge Mablean Ephriam, will be available (via for pre-orders starting June 3, with a national release slated for June 27.

“The points I discuss in the book are drawn directly from my many years of helping Black families navigate through a trying ordeal made that much more difficult due to a basic lack of information and understanding,” says Barclay. “And the impact of a painful divorce is felt well beyond the two principals involved; it affects friends, extended family and especially the children. Whether you are in the midst of a separation, or simply interested in learning more about the process and its unique impact in our community, this guide is a helpful tool in ensuring the experience is respectful, professional and drama-free.”

More than 50 percent of all African-American marriages end in divorce, not counting the non-marital breakups. Most often, the breakdown of a family affects the children. Throughout the U.S., families are torn apart by divorce and its consequences. Worse still, much of the emotional pain and fighting is unnecessary. A divorce does not have to be an emotional bloodbath. There is a better way.

Drama, as the author defines it, is “a situation (or a series of happenings) that marks a vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking impression on a person’s life…is highly emotional, turbulent, and sometimes tragic.” With The African-American Guide To Divorce & Drama, Barclay, a highly respected African-American attorney and managing partner of The Barclay Law Group, provides readers with a user-friendly guide that supplements the service of divorce attorneys and shows them how to make the divorce process as peaceful as possible. His aim is to help Black divorce litigants reduce the level of “drama” in their divorce cases.

Via the book’s 22 chapters and multiple sections, Barclay underscores the unique cultural distinctions underlying most African-American divorces and separations, including such areas as the matriarchal composition of many black families, the influential role of the Black Church, and the community’s general reluctance to seek mental health therapy, among others. The guide covers divorce drama and its aftermath in five dimensions: personal, legal and financial, family, community, and “What Now?”

Crafted to be informative and engaging, The African-American Guide To Divorce & Drama offers readers a 360-degree view of the process, highlighted by such chapter and topic titles as “I’m Mad As Hell,” “I Need A Man,” “I Need A Woman,” “The Word At The Church,” “Money Versus Peace,” “25 Questions You Should Ask Your Divorce Attorney,” “11 Biggest Pre-Divorce Mistakes To Avoid,” “14 Biggest Post-Divorce Mistakes,”among many others.

There are also sections titled “Act Now,” where Barclay provides step-by-step directions and tips, guiding divorced parties toward achieving a “drama-free” divorce. These timely suggestions address various scenarios and occasions. They encourage new ways to think and act by advising paths a divorcing man, woman, or parent should take, and certainly should not take. By applying “Act Now” recommendations, readers can successfully empower their emergence through breakup, divorce, its process, and aftermath.

Whether readers are contemplating separation or divorce, in the middle of divorce, or seeking to recover from a breakup, The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama will provide assistance for healing and wholeness, and protecting their children in the ordeal. Hardly any issue related to divorce and drama in the black experience goes uncovered.

The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down will be available in hardcover and e-book versions. For more information, please visit; for media inquiries, please contact Chris Cathcart/OneDiaspora Media,, 213-840-8740.

About The Author
Lester L. Barclay is the managing partner of The Barclay Law Group in Chicago, Illinois. A graduate of Oberlin College and Case Western Reserve University School of Law, he has practiced matrimonial law since 1985. In that time, he has earned a sterling reputation as a skilled litigator who seeks to maintain the family’s integrity during and after divorce. His passionate calling is to help children, who are so often collateral damage in custody and divorce matters. Frequently, the court appoints him Guardian Ad Litem to protect the interests of children in marital breakup. His influential and ethnically diverse law firm serves an equally diverse clientele. The firm’s list of clients has included Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Estate of Emmett Till, and the National Black Evangelical Association, and the handling of family law matters involving professional athletes Eddy Curry, Richard Dent, Antwaan Randle El and Dwyane Wade.

Lester L. Barclay lives in Chicago with his wife, Dr. Sue Barclay, and their three children. The African-American Guide to Divorce & Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down is his first book.

About Khari Publishing, Ltd.
Khari Publishing, Ltd. was established in 2013. Its mission is to fill a void in the African-American community by publishing media resources on divorce and related matters that are useful for reducing the relationship drama among African-Americans. The initial publication of Khari Publishing, Ltd. is the groundbreaking book released in Summer 2013: The African-American Guide to Divorce and Drama: Breaking Up Without Breaking Down, by Attorney Lester L. Barclay.

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