The Psychology of Blacks: Centering Our Perspectives in the African Consciousness

The Psychology of Blacks: Centering Our Perspectives in the African Consciousness

The Psychology of Blacks: Centering Our Perspectives in the African Consciousness

The Psychology of Blacks: Centering Our Perspectives in the African Consciousness

Synopsis

For courses in Introduction to Psychology, African American Psychology, African American Studies, Multicultural Counseling and Cross Cultural Counseling and Psychotherapy.
This text highlights the limitations of traditional psychological theories and approaches when applied to people of African descent. It provides information on how the African Centered Perspective is defined, as well as how it operates in the context of the African American family with regard to identity development, education, mental health, research, and managing contemporary issues. It links the context of African American life to the traditions, values and spiritual essence of their African ancestors in an attempt to acknowledge the African worldview and assist the African American community in addressing some of the challenges they continue to face.

Excerpt

Beginning with the first edition in 1984 of The Psychology of Blacks: An AfroAmerican Perspective, penned by Dr. Joseph White, each revision of this valuable discussion has provided an insightful commentary on the evolving description of the definitional autonomy taken by Black psychologists of our people. This definitional prerogative was formalized with the establishment of the Association of Black Psychologists in 1968 and concisely articulated by the “emancipation treatise” by the Elder Writer, Joseph White of this fourth revision, in his classical manifesto: “Towards a Black Psychology,” initially published in Ebony magazine in 1970. With each of the three previous editions of this book that have reviewed the evolution of the field of Black psychology, the particular approach of this book has continuously “trumped” other similar texts with a winning hand of “Four Aces” that make this commentary uniquely valuable. Each revision has remained consistently a winning document with these “Four Aces” by an expanding network of contributors from the seminal volume by White in 1984, co-authored with his student Thomas A. Parham in 1990 and eventually including his student’s student Adisa Ajamu in the Parham, White, and Ajamu joint authorship in 2000.

The “Four Aces” that have distinguished these volumes and rendered them uniquely significant are: “Affirmation, Advancement, African-centeredness, and Awareness.” The first of these “Aces”, Affirmation, is the principle for a positive approach to discussion of the Black experience that is (in this edition) as it has been in the previous editions, a cardinal rule that has guided the thought and approach of this readable and important volume. As Joseph White clearly stated in his seminal “treatise” (that actually was expanded and further articulated) in the first edition of The Psychology of Blacks: “The distinguishing role of Black psychology was to be positive about Black life and to move away from the deficiency, deprivation-focus and pathology orientation of traditional Western Psychological discussions of Black behavior and expression.” This fourth edition has remained true to that declaration in that it remains thoroughly Affirmative about Black life. The ideas in this volume do not deny the reality of distinctiveness and difficulties confronted by Black people in their mental adjustment, but the current authors have persisted in their Affirmation of the value, dignity, and significance of Black existence.

The second “Ace” in the “winning hand” of the current revision of this important work is its review of the evolving Advancement of the field of Black psychology. This edition as each of its three precursors has been definitive in acknowledging that the field of study is in a state of growth and adaptive evolution. The authors themselves have contributed from their own scholarship and have critically surveyed the continuing research, theory development, and expanding conceptualizations in the field. Consistent with the stipulation of the “Affirmative Ace” from above, this review of the Advancement has not been regressive, dogmatic, or restrictive, but has been thorough in surveying . . .

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