Meaning-Making, Internalized Racism, and African American Identity

Edited by Jas M. Sullivan & William E. Cross Jr.

Subjects: African American Studies, Social Psychology, Political Psychology, Higher Education, Communication
Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Paperback : 9781438462967, 372 pages, July 2017
Hardcover : 9781438462974, 372 pages, October 2016

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Table of contents

List of Figures
List of Tables

Robert Sellers


William E. Cross Jr. and Jas M. Sullivan

Part I. Meaning-Making

1. Affirming Blackness: Racial Identity from Racial Color-Blindness to Critical Consciousness
Helen A. Neville, Tuyet-Mai H. Hoang, and Arielle Brown

2. The Racial Ties that Bind: Blacks’ Affective and Behavioral Responses to Black-White Biracials Acting Stereotypically
Sabrica Barnett and Daryl Wout

3. The Relationship between Parents’ Racial Identity Attitudes and their Adolescent Children’s Perception of Physical Appearance, Racial Identity, and Social Adjustment
Peony Fhagen

4. Ethos Matters: Identity, Spirituality, and Meaning and Purpose among African-American Youth
Lisa K. Hill, Debra D. Roberts, and Kelli A. Hill

5. Expanding Black Narratives: The Role of Meaning-Making in Ethnically Diverse Blacks’ Racial Identity and
Racial Awareness
Hollie L. Jones and Eve Lorane Brown

6. I Too Am Black: Bi/Multiracial Black Youth Speak about Their Racialized Experiences
Stephen M. Quintana, Susan Lambe Sarinana, and Alyssa M. Ramirez Stege

7. The “One Drop Rule”: Shifting Expressions of Racial Identity and Well-Being in Black-Multiracial Individuals
Lauren E. Smith, Laura Kohn-Wood, and Guerda Nicolas

8. Through the Lens of Gender: An Intersectional Perspective on Race and Racial Identity
Isis H. Settles and Elizabeth R. Cole

9. The Intersection of Social Identities among Black Female College Students
Joanna Lee Williams and Saida B. Hussain

10. The Intersection of Racial and Cultural Identity for African Americans: Expanding the Scope of Black
A. Wade Boykin, R. Davis Dixon, David S. B. Mitchell,Adrian W. Bruce, Yetunde O. Akinola, and Nikeshia P. Holt

11. Ethnic-Racial Identity and College Adjustment and Coping among African-American College Students: Moderating Effects of Kin Social Support
Ronald D. Taylor, Azeb Gebre, and Elizabeth Tuzo

12. “I Am a Man Too!”: Masculinity, Economic Violence, and Resilience in The Streets of Black America
Yasser Arafat Payne

Part II. Internalized Racism

13. How Stigma Gets Under the Skin: Internalized Oppression and Dual Minority Stress among Black Sexual Minorities
Alex A. Ajayi and Moin Syed

14. Black Identities, Internalized Racism, and Self-Esteem
William E. Cross Jr. and David M. Frost

15. Acceptance of Injustice among Ethnic Minorities as a Function of Ideology and Social Comparison Process
Krystal M. Perkins

16. The Intersection of Colorism and Racial Identity and the Impact on Mental Health
Kira Hudson Banks, Richard D. Harvey,Tanisha Thelemaque, and Onyinyechi V. Anukem

17. Meta-Analysis of Cross Racial Identity Scale: Psychological Costs and Benefits of Racial Identity
Aaronson Y. Chew and Stephen M. Quintana

18. Racial Oppression and Other Black Identity Correlates
Kenneth Foster Sr.

19. The Role of Discrimination in Shaping the Presence and Strength of Linked Fate
Jas M. Sullivan and Jonathan Winburn

William E. Cross Jr.


Presents research on how variations in African Americans’ racial self-concept affects meaning-making and internalized oppression.


Focusing on the broad range of attitudes Black people employ to make sense of their Blackness, this volume offers the latest research on racial identity. The first section explores meaning-making, or the importance of holding one type of racial-cultural identity as compared to another. It looks at a wide range of topics, including stereotypes, spirituality, appearance, gender and intersectionalities, masculinity, and more. The second section examines the different expressions of internalized racism that arise when the pressure of oppression is too great, and includes such topics as identity orientations, self-esteem, colorism, and linked fate. Grounded in psychology, the research presented here makes the case for understanding Black identity as wide ranging in content, subject to multiple interpretations, and linked to both positive mental health as well as varied forms of internalized racism.

Jas M. Sullivan is Associate Professor of Political Science and African and African American Studies at Louisiana State University and the coeditor (with Ashraf M. Esmail) of African American Identity: Racial and Cultural Dimensions of the Black Experience. William E. Cross Jr. is Clinical Professor at the University of Denver and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the author of Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identity.


"With its impressive and varied research base, this is one of the most comprehensive books on the subject of racial identity. " — Scott L. Graves Jr. , Duquesne University