Environmental Stress and African Americans: The Other Side of the Moon

Environmental Stress and African Americans: The Other Side of the Moon

Environmental Stress and African Americans: The Other Side of the Moon

Environmental Stress and African Americans: The Other Side of the Moon

Synopsis

Carroll contends that race is brought to the consciousness of African Americans every day through interaction with employers, service providers, landlords, the police, and the media, and examines the stress experienced by blacks merely as a result of being African American.

Micro-aggressions include experiences such as being denied service, being falsely accused, being negatively singled out on account of one's race. The author labels the stress that results from such micro-aggressions as Mundane Extreme Environmental Stress--which she says is a daily experience, has a significant impact on one's psychological well being and world view, is environmentally induced, and is detracting and energy consuming.

Excerpt

Dr. Grace Carroll has written an educative, absorbing, and persuasive book. She tries to make readers understand the pernicious, destructive effects of racism, which seem omnipresent and ubiquitous in American society. Her method of presentation includes moving autobiographical poetry and prose, as lead-ins for the creative psychosociological research inquiries she has performed.

What may be most special about the book is that it speaks to the important fact that African American investigators are able to conceptualize problem areas in racism, perhaps in a distinctive manner, because of their own life experiences. Dr. Carroll, in addition, takes much care to indicate places of strength in black populations and to give valuable suggestions about how to ameliorate problems and learn more about these issues.

In the general literature on stress much is made about “extreme environments.” One might theorize that there are extreme exotic environments and extreme mundane environments. in either end of such a continuum, people would be overwhelmed and in need of massive psychological, biological, and sociological support. Their plight would worsen because of extensive and intensive factors that are aggravated by the unexpected, the uncontrollable, and the unpredictable. Often times, there would be paralyzing indecisiveness and/or dependency preventing a modicum of control over one’s space, time, energy, and mobility.

Those habitués of exotic extreme environments are in situations in which, so far, very few people have maneuvered; for example, space travel, or deciding to drop an atom bomb. the habitués of mundane extreme environments can also be under equally disturbing distress. Such habitués—for example, those who have been tortured or terrorized or immobilized in natural or man-made disasters—are in situations that are mundane in the sense that thousands have experienced co-equal circumstances.

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