Forging Links: African American Children Clinical Developmental Perspectives

Forging Links: African American Children Clinical Developmental Perspectives

Forging Links: African American Children Clinical Developmental Perspectives

Forging Links: African American Children Clinical Developmental Perspectives

Synopsis

This volume focuses on the challenges faced by Black children in the post-modern age. The authors integrate clinical and developmental psychology with history and culture to address contemporary issues in the field. The issues confronting African American children and parents are unique to this era of unparalleled prosperity. Simultaneous patterns of racial inequality and disparities continue to exist in almost all areas of human activity despite these prosperous times. This book offers an in-depth look at issues and challenges affecting African American children in the 21st century. Topics addressed include quantifying normal behavior, racial identity, racial socialization, acting white, teen fatherhood, poverty, violence, and Black males and sports. This book will be of interest to both academics and professionals in clinical development and family psychology and those involved with legal and social services for Black children.

Excerpt

Angela M. Neal-Barnett

Several years ago, I interviewed an African American mother and her teenage daughter. the daughter described for me what it was like to be a high-achieving black female in a predominantly white school and how she felt unaccepted by both her black and white peers. Her mother acknowledged that the daughter had told her about the difficulties she was having with the other students. the mother believed that if her daughter simply continued to treat people well, everything would be all right. Upon hearing her mother’s assertion, the daughter turned to me and said with a resigned sigh, “My mother doesn’t understand what it means to be a Black kid.”

I embarked on planning the 1999 Kent Psychology Forum, the think tank that spawned this volume, I found myself reflecting on the words the teenager had spoken two years earlier. Far too many individuals in this society don’t understand what it means to be an African American and under 18 at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Thanks to the Civil Rights Movement and affirmative action programs, today’s African American child and adolescent have far more opportunities than his or her parents or grandparents. But with new opportunities come new obstacles. Whereas some of the issues faced by African American children and adolescents are similar to past generations, new issues have arisen that warrant investigation.

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