Black Psychology: Things We Should Know-2022

Racism towards black people is evident. The recent ‘Black lives matter’ movement gives us a clear illustration of how an African American is perceived in the eyes of many white people living in America. Moreover, African American psychologists have a great contribution to black psychology frames.

Black psychology is broadly defined as a special element of human nature and behavior, focusing specifically on African black people. Black psychology emerged from the African psychologists’ struggles, and it is stemmed from African philosophy. Western psychologists characterize the African psychologists as inferior, and this view of the western psychologists creates a racial model between the western and black psychologists.

It is no wonder that black people’s psychological disturbance is far different from their white counterparts. Also, the approaches used in psychological well-being are specifically built according to their belief and culture.

What is Black Psychology?

It is easy to guess; black psychology is pretty bleak to almost all. This is mostly the term that is specific to a group of people. Yes, you may have guessed it right. Black psychology refers to the understanding and psychological experience of black people in particular.

The psychology of this specific group of people matters to a great extent, as they are the ones who are continually facing color racism. Black psychology is derived from the struggle, inequality, and inferiority of black people and psychologists.

Last update on 2022-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Historical of Black psychology

The history of black psychology started in Ancient Egypt in Kemet, 3200 B.C. At this time, African American psychologists, philosophers, and scholars developed a philosophical idea influenced by Greek philosophy. Their belief systems are known as worldviews. They describe the black psychology topics according to their worldview concepts.

Bases of Black psychology

Daudi Azibo, Kobi K. Kambon, Linda James Myers, and Wade W. Nobles are renowned black psychologists. They gave four major philosophical components of the African world.

  1. They provided a structure of the world that reflects reality, collectivism, and unity with nature. This is also called Cosmology.
  2. They researched self- and divine spiritual energy, which manifests the physical and material realm. This is an essential nature of reality, which is named ontology.
  3. They analyzed the affective and cognitive self-knowledge with the help of symbolic imagery and rhythm. This is the nature of knowledge, which is called epistemology.
  4. They focused on positive psychology, which is the basic value system. They named it axiology.

Early black psychologists established their traditional black psychology according to their legitimacy.

Major concepts around black psychology

Some people miss perceiving by thinking of black psychology as dark psychology. Dark psychology can be synonymous with shadow psychology or magic psychology, totally different from our topic. Let’s learn about how black psychology plays a role in black people’s psychological enhancement and brings any reforms.

 1. Deconstructionist Method

This method was established to alter the psychological research technique with participants who are black. It also encourages to change the perception and definition the researcher has been using for the psychological curing of black people.

The method also helped to craft new effective ideas on optimal conceptual theory. This theory is built on the African tradition and belief system and focuses on Africans’ freedom from various injustices.

2. Reconstructionist Concept

The Reconstructionist method allows Black people a wide window to benefit from models of psychology that are culturally sensitive. This technique also reformed errors of conventional and Eurocentric psychology.

  • the areas that this concept focuses on are
  • the self-concept of black people
  • Racial identity
  • Mistrust due to culture

3. Constructionist Approach

The Constructionist idea allows African or black people to create and sustain their cultural knowledge to survive and come out free from oppression.

The overall approach aids black people in understanding their rights and freedoms and becoming self-assured individuals. The method is implemented from black people’s culture and traditions.

Last update on 2022-06-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Black Psychology Perspectives

Black psychology works with the black people’s human nature and behavior, also known as the African people. There are many standpoints of black psychology that black psychologists use to define and understand black people’s human nature. Now, we’re mentioning some of the black psychology perspectives below:

  • Using traditional empirical methods, black psychology diminishes previous views over black Americans and creates a racial and cultural model to preview black Americans’ cultural strengths and limitations.
  • Black psychology is also concerned with understanding the human nature of the black people using the African philosophical values, even going beyond the oppressive social contexts.
  • Using traditional empirical methods of understanding human nature like studying the feelings and emotions and cognitive processes of self-knowledge and self-realization play big roles in understanding black psychology.
  • Black psychologists use African-black psychology models to understand black Americans’ behavior and nature through systematic research and studies. Black families, black education, and black identity are examples of these models that black psychologists use for their research.

Black Identity 

In the beginning, black identity was just a multi-dimensional racial model that scholars and psychologists used to identify black people and define and interpret black people’s behavior and human nature.

Using African philosophical assumptions, psychologists understand black people’s human nature and behavior by studying one’s history, religious and spiritual views, and individual and collective self- concepts.

Scholars assess African people using different measurement scales such as the African self-consciousness scale, Black Personal Questionnaire, etc. Also, other Psychometric scales are being used to advance the understanding and study of black psychology.

Black Families 

Black families are extended family trees with immediate family, friends, neighbors, organizational members, or non-biological people. The African American perspective examines black families’ structural and functional aspects, their acculturations, socialization factors, coping factors, etc.

The black perspective theme is not to look at the deficit side of black families and highlight them, but rather look at the strengths and factors that affect black families and, finally, emphasize them and promote them.

Black Education 

Black psychology can be defined by prominence on African Americans’ educational experiences, needs, and career growth based on educational viewpoints.

In the 1960s and 1970s, elementary school-age children were got inadequate learning. But this scenario was changed since last in the past 2 decades.

They are well-organized in research, culture, and advocating for culturally compatible education acknowledging racial/ethnic identity, socialization, home, spirituality, and community practices among youth and college-age students.

Top 10 Black Psychology Books

Important African American psychologists contribute various research-based knowledge, books, etc., in the psychological realm. You can easily get African American psychology pdf books from the internet, which may not provide the reliable information you want. Some of the great handbook lists of African American psychology is given below:

  1. The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health: Learn Tools for Emotional Wellness, and Get the Help you Deserve, by Rheeda Walker, Ph.D.
  2. Soothe Your Nerves: A guide of Black Woman’s to Overcome the Anxiety, Panic, and Fear, by Angela Neal-Barnett, Ph.D.
  3. Shifting: The Double Lives of American Black Women, by Charisse Jones and Kumea Shorter-Gooden, Ph.D.
  4. Black Families in Therapy: Understand African American Experience, by Nancy Boyd-Franklin, Ph.D.
  5. My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem, M.S.W.
  6. The State of Black Girls: A Go-To Guide for Creating Safe Space for Black Girls, by Marline Francois-Madden, L.C.S.W.
  7. Black Women’s Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability, edited by Stephanie Y. Evans, Ph.D.
  8. Psychology of Blacks: Centering Our Perspectives in the African Consciousness, by Thomas A. Parham 
  9. Black Rage: Two Black Psychiatrists Reveal the Dimensions of the Inner Conflicts and Black Life in the United States
  10. Self-Healing Power and Therapy: Old Teachings from Africa, by Kimbwandende Fu-Kiau and C S Moore

Final Thoughts!

To sum up, black psychology has revolutionized the idea of treating black people for their psychological development. The concept allows black people to be perceived by their cultural beliefs and traditions.

It would not be beneficial to use techniques for whites or other races to treat a black person.

Therefore, black psychology allows approaches and methods that work in the best interest of black people.

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