- Most African Americans are known to persevere since they face many adversities and challenges in their own country. They possess characters strengths such as having a positive outlook, are religious and spiritual, forgiveness, social empathy, and have gratitude (Mattis, et al., 2016).
- They like teamwork, express their citizenship and are extensively involved in political and social justice activities (Mattis, et al., 2004).
- African Americans have, over the years, developed strategies that they use in handling adversity, where they also highlight the joy of life (Ajibade, Hook, Utsey, Davis, & Van Tongeren, 2016). They are known to be strong in storytelling and creative arts.
- They are family people who know how to express love, where young African Americans try to defy stereotypes and avoid relationship mistakes made by their parents.
- African Americans are known for their incredible sense of humor. This can be witnessed from the large number of comedians they produce. Their humor is different forms include metaphor, satire, and wordplay.
- They have a sense of self-regulation, where they use it to decrease the likelihood of being seen as aggressive, unfriendly, or threatening, for example, removing their hands from the pockets when they see a sudden movement of police who are fond of stigmatizing them.
- Show respect to your elders and leaders among the society
- Share with your neighbors
- View culture as a strength
- Include cultural beliefs and ways in any given environment
- Respect their history of the culture, especially the Black history month
- Family comes first Always
- Enforce strict discipline to the children
- Disregard religion
- Leave a brother behind who is in need or troubled
- Forget to appreciate African American’s diversity and its culture
- Give up on the fight against racial injustice in the country
- Discriminate against any person of a different culture and diversity
- Allow being discriminated at the place of work, church, or in any environment
- Act too casual in a family gathering
Forms of Oppression and Discrimination
- They have been constantly discriminated against due to their color by society and the police, who target and stigmatize them in most recent cases (Carter, Lau, Johnson, & Kirkinis, 2017). There are many reported cases of murder cases against Black Americans, perpetrated mainly by the police.
- Black Americans are constantly stereotyped as murders, gang members, and rapists.
- They are also stereotyped as persons who don’t work hard, hence poverty and massive unemployment rates.
- The community has continued to face displacement and a lack of proper housing in the country. The communities living in urban areas have also faced ruthless public policies enactments in the name of creating new public spaces or economic development. They are forced to vacate, where many become homeless or live in poor housing for four years of discrimination against rights such as voting, attending some schools, or even interacting with their white counterparts.
Figure 1 President Obama, First Black President of the United States of America
- Many were treated as slaves despite the abolishment of slavery. This was not until in 1870, in the 15th amendment, where states were prohibited from denying a male citizen the right to vote based on color, race, or previous conditions of servitude.
- Black Americans have been misrepresented in elective positions such as in Congress and in the presidency. Currently, the country has made strides in the recent decades with the first and only ever Black American, President Obama, winning the presidency 12 years ago and the first Black woman winning as the vice president of the United States last year (Brown & Atske, 2021).
Ajibade, A., Hook, J. N., Utsey, S. O., Davis, D. E., & Van Tongeren, D. R. (2016). Racial/ethnic identity, religious commitment, and well-being in African Americans. Journal of Black Psychology, 42(3), 244-258.
BROWN, A., & ATSKE, S. (2021). Black Americans have made gains in U.S. political leadership, but gaps remain. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/01/22/black-americans-have-made-gains-in-u-s-political-leadership-but-gaps-remain/
Carter, R. T., Lau, M. Y., Johnson, V. .., & Kirkinis, K. (2017). Racial discrimination and health outcomes among racial/ethnic minorities: A meta‐analytic review. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, 45(4), 232-259.
Mattis, J. S., Beckham, W. P., Saunders, B. A., Williams, J. E., Myers, V., Knight, D., & Dixon, C. (2004). Who will volunteer? Religiosity, everyday racism, and social participation among African American men. Journal of Adult Development. 11(4), 261.
Mattis, J. S., Simpson, N. G., Powell, W., Anderson, R. E., Kimbro, L. R., & Mattis, J. H. (2016). Positive psychology in African Americans.
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