Presentation on theme: "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Waste"— Presentation transcript:
1 A Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Waste Black PsychologyA Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Waste
2 Traditional Psychology PerspectivesEuro-American ValueCulturally BiasedAfriphobicDismissive of AfricaScientifically racist
3 Black Psychology African American experience is quite different. Black psychologist look to worldviews or social realities as an explanation of the disparities among the ethnicities.
4 “Black psychology and the psychology of Blackness reflect an attempt to build a conceptual model that organizes, explains, and leads to understanding the psychological behavior of African-Americans based on the primary dimensions of an African-American world view.”
5 Types of Black Psychology according to Maulena Karenga Traditional – apply European norms in analyzing Black behavior.Reformist – adapt conventional thought to conform to African American “experience with little regard for African foundations.”Radical – African ethos is the way to analyze Black behavior independent of European theory. It includes “African religion, philosophy, spiritualism, ritualism, concept of time, and worldview as the foundation of Black psychology.”
6 The Differences Africans Europeans Nature – seek harmony and unity Person – seek collectivismRelationships – seek to work with others in an egalitarian wayReligion – spiritualTransformation -- ritualsEuropeansNature – dominance and controlPerson – seek individualismRelationships – seek to dominate others through hierarchyReligion – rationalTransformation -- aggression
7 Key words Rhythm Oral tradition Soul Extended self Natural Survival of the group
8 Psychological Dimensions of Oppression Slavery and Racism
9 Slavery on Black Psychology Slavery lasted for more than 300 yearsEmancipation was proclaimed about 140 years ago.Legalized segregation ended only about 50 years ago.Attitudes and feelings still persist.
10 The Torture of Slavery“Slavery was an enduring form of torture of the minds, bodies and souls of Africans.”
11 The Effects of SlaveryThe effects of slavery on the African was pervasive. The enslaved were:BrainwashedAfflicted with self rejection and alienationMade to fear their captorsDeveloped a dependency
12 The House Negro and the Field Negro Making SlavesThe House Negro and the Field Negro
13 Kenneth M StamppHe says that there were three five steps to controlling the enslaved used by the planters:Establish and maintain strict disciplineConvince the African that he was inferiorAwe them with the slave holders sense of powerPersuade the bondsman to take an active interest in the slave holders well-beingImbue a sense of helplessness within
14 Akbar and WrightNa’im Akbar and Bobby Wright contend that slavery continues to have a influence on the psychology of African Americans.Akbar contends that certain “individual behaviors are influenced by collective factors which are historically remote.”
15 Attitudes related to were affected by slavery PropertyWorkLeadership“Clowning”Personal inferiorityCommunity divisionFamily instabilityColor consciousness
16 Property – mixed feelings Property – mixed feelings. On one hand slaves would get pleasure in destroying the slaveholders property. On the other hand blacks were attracted to these material things.Work – because of inadequate compensation work was punishment and therefore avoided.
17 Leadership – leaders were eliminated, downplayed or co-opted to serve the interest of the slave holders. Consequently blacks became “hesitant toward strong Black leaders.”Unity – unity was affected by the social stratification of the field slave versus the house slave. The semi free and mulatto slaves were used to divide the community.
18 Family life – families were split indiscriminately and strong family ties were discouraged. Slaves were used as studs, multiplicity of partners was encouraged.Clowning – blacks were “allowed” to entertain whites as jester, clown or fool. This accounts for the “over representation” of blacks in the entertainment industry.
19 Akbar and Fanon“Both slavery and colonialism causes the victims to internalize certain destructive behavioral traits or characteristics which contribute to their continued oppression long after freedom or decolonization has been achieved.”
20 Most Black psychologist support the idea the racism is the source of social dysfunction, aberrant behavior and cultural alienation and continue to impact the mental health of African Americans.“Racism is the abstract component of physical racial slavery.”
21 The Mental Health Dilemma The Effects of RacismThe Mental Health Dilemma
22 Black and White Approaches Most Black psychologist argue that the European model for psychology is not adaptable to Black behavior, personality, and mental functions.
23 Racism affects Worldview Self Perception Perception of others Vocation EducationReligious PreferenceOutlook on lifePerspective onMoneyMaterialRelationshipsSelf potentialGovernmentAuthority
25 “. . . racism and racial antagonism cause African Americans to an undue amount of depression, stress, anger and hypertension.”Improper coping mechanisms can lead to social and biological problems.Although there may be many factors which lead to depression, including some biological ones, it is logical to think that racism and discrimination may play a role in it.
26 “Race and color more than any other factors, determines the collective quality of life, achievement potential, health and life-chances of African Americans.”Even in the face of this African Americans manage to develop positive coping mechanisms and very often push themselves to achieve to disprove the stereotype.
27 However the tremendous drive to succeed may itself contribute to depression, anger, alienation, etc.
28 TelosThe goal of Black psychologist is to understand Blacks and provide means by which they can develop healthy psychological functioning.
29 W.E. Cross stagesCross outline five stages of Blacks from weak Negro to strong positive self image.Pre-encounterEncounterImmersion-EmersionInternalizationInternalization-Commitment
30 The Stages of Healthy Development Pre-encounter – Devoid of any black frame of reference. Embraces all things European and is AfriphobicEncounter – The person encounters a racial incident which moves that person to explore her Blackness.Immersion/emersion – The person become immersed in anything and everything black. She adopts black clothes, hairstyle, speech and mannerisms.
31 Internalization – She becomes comfortable with her new Black identity Internalization – She becomes comfortable with her new Black identity. She thinks and acts Black.Internalization/commitment – At this stage she has committed herself to being Black consciously. She is not only culturally sure but “politically committed towards the eradication of racial injustice and irresponsibility.
32 African Characteristics A Proposed Remedy for the Black Psyche Overly Exposed to Racism
33 Wade NoblesNoted African American scholar puts forth a Black Psychology that uses African Philosophy as its model.
34 African Ethos People are part of nature; the natural rhythm of life Collective effort is the survival of the tribe
35 Five Features Philosophy and Religion Notion of Unity Concept of Time Five FeaturesPhilosophy and ReligionNotion of UnityConcept of TimeDeath and ImmortalityKinship and Collective Unity
36 Philosophy and Religion There exists a strong relationship between philosophy and religion.Collective consciousnessOral traditions
37 Notion of UnityHuman beings are part of nature. Humans are the center but not apart from others (animals, plants and natural phenomena).
38 Concept of TimeTime is present and past. Time is also event conscious as opposed to number conscious. Two Swahili words:Sasa – presentZamani – past
39 Death and ImmortalityDeath was part of the rhythm of life. After one died one lived as long as one was remembered and recognized by those who knew the person.
40 Kinship and Collective Unity Kinship controlled all relations in the community and included animals, plants and non-living objects.
41 African American community is Experiential community Africans do not go for the mind/body split where the body is bad and the mind is good.