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