Hip-hop culture is a strong source of pride for many African Americans because despite the fact that it has international appeal, it is still viewed as an African American cultural art form. This chapter begins by examining the history of hip-hop starting with its original roots in New York City. It then discusses rap music, as one expression of hip-hop, focusing on the roots of the music form, the various genres of rap music, and the differences between mainstream and underground rap. Next, the chapter describes gender, as it applies to rap, in terms of feminism and the place of women in hip-hop. It focuses on positive uses of hip-hop including as a form of resistance and activism, as an educational tool, and in therapy. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how hip-hop can be used to reflect and improve society.
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This chapter discusses the unique historical experience of African Americans. It introduces the topic of racism with definitions of various forms of racism, including modern racism, institutionalized racism, and color-blind racism. Next, the chapter presents an overview of the history of the United States as it pertains to racism and the oppression of African Americans. It also presents a discussion of slavery, the Jim Crow era, and the Civil Rights Movement. The chapter then discusses current racial tensions with a particular focus on the relationship between African Americans and the criminal justice system. It describes the potential outcomes of racism, such as poor mental health and behavioral problems as well as potential positive outcomes. The chapter finally discusses the ways of overcoming racism such as having a strong ethnic–racial identity and coping skills and concludes with a discussion of ways to reduce racism, such as intergroup contact.
This chapter discusses the problems found in research that focuses on African American populations. It focuses specifically on the problems with theories developed without the inclusion of African Americans, the introduction of biases into the research, the problems with comparative studies, and the practice of studying African Americans as if they are a homogenous group. The chapter then addresses future needs to improve research concerning African Americans including increasing the number of African American psychologists, improving training to include an African-centered perspective, and increasing the number of African Americans who participate in research. It also addresses theories that are relevant to African Americans, focusing on the African worldview, African-centered theories, and Critical Race Theory. It provides an overview of the Black psychology and describes the studies of African-centered psychologists. The chapter concludes with an examination of García Coll and colleague’s Integrative Model to understand the development of children of color.
This chapter examines ecological models as they relate to health in the United States. It examines the roles of social inequality, discrimination, and mistrust in maintaining health disparities. The chapter also examines socioeconomic status, problems in the patient–provider relationship, and past ethical violations by the medical field. It discusses specific health issues, including cancer, obesity, and diabetes, and the incidence rates along with factors related to screening, treatment, and maintenance of these health issues. The chapter then outlines strengths that can be used to improve the health outcomes of African Americans including an overview of Optimal Health Theory, the impact of social support, religion, resiliency, and resources. It examines community-based programs that target health outcomes including the challenges to these types of interventions. The chapter concludes with a discussion of continued needs concerning health research for African Americans, including the need for more African American participants, researchers, and healthcare providers.
This chapter introduces some of the challenges currently faced by African Americans in the United States. It discusses the problems with the deficit perspective in understanding African Americans and the role of African American psychologists in the 1960s to attempt to move us away from this perspective. The chapter then points out key aspects of African-centered psychology. It discusses individuals who were instrumental in the early days of Black psychology, helping us to understand their roles in addressing issues important to Blacks throughout the 20th century. The chapter then discusses the rise of positive psychology and how it can uniquely help us to better understand African American psychology through its focus on strengths and not deficits. It describes several empirical studies examining resilience along with interventions designed to increase resilience. Finally, the chapter discusses the complexity of resilience and possible negative outcomes to resilience behavior.
This chapter describes the progress that African Americans have made since the end of slavery in the United States. It explores the heterogeneity among them by focusing on socioeconomic status, a rural versus an urban living environment, geographical residence, and differences among Blacks from the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. The chapter also explores biracial identity and African Americans’ strengths as they relate to positive African American outcomes, including family orientation, religious, and spiritual faith, and resilience. It discusses how these strengths can be developed. It examines areas in which African Americans still struggle, including physical health, education, wealth and related resources, and mass incarceration. Finally, the chapter explores ways to make improvements in African American outcomes: coalition building, diverse activism strategies such as using social media, teaching cultural competence with an emphasis on intergroup contact, changing media representations of African Americans, and engaging in individual efforts towards change.
This chapter explores relationships among African Americans, examining how they impact their lives across the life span. It discusses friendships throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Friendships that are developed during adolescence are necessary to develop social skills and build self-esteem. The chapter determines that friendships are an essential part of lifelong development, as it provides positive relationships for African Americans who do not have strong relationships with their family. It discuss romantic relationships between interracial couples and within the same gender loving African American community, and reviews marriage in the African American community and how events such as mass incarceration have contributed to the decline of African American marriage. The chapter then explores factors related to the success of marriage in African American communities, including communication, gender equality, and religion or spirituality. It concludes by examining needs concerning research about African American relationships.
In order to understand the current state of the African American family, one must understand its history in the United States. This chapter begins with a historical examination of the African American family. It discusses what authors such as Billingsley, Hill, and Nobles have determined to be the strengths of African American families (strong kinship bonds, flexible family and gender roles, strong religious orientation, and strong work ethic and achievement orientation) with current research to support their ideas. Next, the chapter describes single-parent families along with the problems with the current knowledge of the topic. It also describes a program that has been developed to support African American families and discusses parenting behavior such as different parenting styles and the use of physical punishment. The chapter then discusses the unique role of African American fathers. Finally, it describes the problems with current research methodology concerning African American families.
This innovative book is the first to examine the contemporary psychological experience of African Americans through the lens of a positive, strengths-based model. It combats the deficit perspective that has permeated the psychological literature about African Americans by focusing on the strengths that have facilitated their growth and resilience—while also considering existing challenges and struggles. The author examines in depth the major areas of psychological research across family, peer, and romantic relationships, education, work, ethnic-racial socialization and identity, prosocial behavior and civic engagement, and the mental and physical health of African Americans today. With a focus on real life applications, the text includes pedagogical elements introducing topics in Current Events, Interventions in Practice, Individual Issues, African Cultural Values, and Media and Technology. Additional features include learning objectives in each chapter, discussion questions, a closing summary, an extensive trove of additional resources, and PowerPoints and a sample syllabus for instructors. One very important goal of this book is to elucidate the strengths of African Americans, but at the same time, not forget their history and current struggles. In the book, many chapters include history to help provide an understanding of where African Americans are coming from and why their progress is such an accomplishment. Furthermore, the current state of African Americans lives are discussed—the good, the bad, and the ugly. So while this is a book focusing on strengths, it would be unrealistic to ignore the current struggles of African Americans. We must note where growth is still needed. The book strives to navigate this fine line. The goal of the book is to elucidate the strengths that African Americans have while highlighting the struggles that continue and to note how strengths can be used to help more African Americans prosper psychologically, spiritually, economically, and physically.
This chapter begins with a historical discussion of racial segregation, including its origins and how it was maintained, and examines current segregation in neighborhoods. Next, it discusses the impact of poverty on African American communities and examines reasons for higher rates of poverty and the impact of poverty on mental and physical health. The chapter then discusses the theories such as the broken Windows Theory, Social Disorganization Theory, and Pluralistic Neighborhood Theory as they related to poor neighborhoods. It examines heterogeneity within African American neighborhoods comparing urban versus rural settings and exploring aspects of wealth. The section on neighborhood environment focuses on characteristics of neighborhoods that can have a positive impact on African Americans. The chapter examines social capital, social cohesion, and the neighborhood’s positive impact on academic achievement, mental health, and physical activity. Finally, it discusses community programs that can benefit residents.