April 2021
      Welcome to DIRECTIONS the monthly online newsletter of the Delaware Valley   Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi). Please feel free to contact us at   www.dvabpsi.org, directionsdvabpsiorg@gmail.com or by regular mail (information
 provided at end of this newsletter) with content you wish to share with the DVABPsi   community in the newsletter. We look forward to providing our readers with pertinent   information to support, encourage, and uplift our community and those who serve the   community. The goal of DVABPsi is to make a positive impact on Black Mental Health today   and for the future.
  
  DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.- Editor 
                                                       

                                                      President's Message:  

                                                      Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden

                                                      Delaware Valley Association

                                                      of Black Psychologists

                                                             (DVABPsi)

     

        

       We provide monthly Mbongi, which is an African word from the Bantu Kongo meaning

 a house without rooms. It is a place where learning occurs by discussing issues and

 resolving the issues to the benefit of the people.  Topics have included racism, COVID-19,

 gun violence, stress reduction, managing isolation and other stressors during the pandemic,

 and Kwanzaa. Last month's Mbongi focused on love relationships, empowerment, and

 ethical considerations.  Mbongi may be viewed by clicking on the link at the top of this

 page. Dr. Tashekah Smith serves as the VP and President Elect. You will have the   opportunity to see Dr. Smith's clinical skills at work as she guides Mbongi attendees

 through soothing relaxation exercises.  Dr. Janice HoffmanWillis was one of the founders

 of DVABPsi back in 1975, and served as the first president. She has been the glue that has   held the organization together, serving as president for several terms, and now, serving as

 the Secretary.  Dr. Faruq Iman, Past President, and current treasurer of DVABPsi, is an   expert examining the relationship between food and behavior and who continues to   publish The Mashariki Gazeti, the Eastern Region Newspaper - Kiswahili.  Dr. Iman

 has been dedicated to writing this excellent publication which provides readers with   information regarding the International Association of Black Psychologists and chapters in   New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and in Washington D.C.  Dr. Iman will be the presenter at our April Mbongi on child abuse. DVABPsi has revived our newsletter, Directions under

 the leadership of Dr. DeBorah Gilbert White, Chair of the Public Relations Committee.

 She is a social psychologist and advocate for the dignity and rights of people experiencing

 homelessness.  Directions will provide the public with a close and personal look at DVABPsi  members, our work, and relevant topics.  Mr. Colmon Holmes, M.Ed., serves as the Chair

 of the Community Services Committee. Mr. Holmes keeps DVABPsi and our connected   audience informed about programs and activities that help our healing and promote our

 empowerment. Our student  Student Concerns Committee is Co-Chaired by Ms. Ferlin   Charles, MSW and Ms. Rashidat Anthonio, B.S., these two members have provided us   with critical technical skills that have allowed DVABPsi to enter the Zoom era and other

 social media arenas. Thank you each for what you bring to the organization. I am

 appreciative of our leadership team and members.  

     
                   Harambee!  Harambee!  Harambee! (Let us all pull together). 
      Hotep (Peace and Blessings)- Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, LLC
       
                     
 
 
 
                 
                  Guest Contributor- Dr.  Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC

        A strong sense of self-esteem is an essential ingredient in developing healthy

 relationships between two people.  Once you are secure with who you are, the next step is   finding a love partner who is a “kindred spirit”-someone who has common values, interests,   and goals. Finally, you want a love partner who can build a future with you which may

 include raising children.  Unfortunately, the Maafa (systematic dehumanization of Blacks by   racists) has damaged how we see ourselves and the values we use to make decisions   regarding who is a desirable love partner, as well as, how to raise  healthy children.  Many   males believe that sex without commitment is a “rite of manhood” and that the

 ideal sex/love partner is someone who looks like Alicia Keys.  Many females have been

 taught to lower their standards and to falsely believe that their bodies are bait to attract and   keep a partner. These same females have also accepted the propaganda that states that the   more European/Caucasian you look, the more beautiful and desirable you are to a love   partner-which is reinforced by far too many Black males( who have been shaped by racist   propaganda regarding standards of beauty).   

     Many people enter relationships feeling very incomplete and unsure of themselves.  Too   many people look to their love partners to provide them with a sense of identity and   wholeness.  If you are unhealthy and your partner is unhealthy, this is a recipe for a failed   relationship.  Perhaps, this explains  why there are so many unhappy marriages, lonely   singles, soaring divorce rates, and single-parent households.  Individuals who come from   families where there were negative experiences such as drug and alcohol abuse, sexual,   physical and/or verbal abuse, hostility, ridicule, criticism, lack of encouragement, lack of

 love and affection, generally suffer from low self-esteem.  Unless you learn how so many   Blacks  have learned unhealthy beliefs and behaviors and learn that if your home life was

 not healthy, you will tend to repeat these same behaviors in future relationships. Who you   are today has been shaped by the societal abuse you have been subjected to for the past

 five hundred years. 

 

        Blacks have experienced inter and intragenerational trauma due to the Maafa. Every   Black female, male and child was raped repeatedly as a function of the brutal character of

 the racist European/Caucasians who were given the right to do whatever their racist   pathological minds desired to do to Blacks.  These racist Europeans/Caucasians beat, raped,   and tortured Blacks physically and psychologically, repeatedly throughout their lifespan.

 The abuse of Blacks did not stop with the legal end of slavery. The abuses continue to this     day.  Propaganda is pervasive in all forms of media and especially in the news and in

 movies.  Propaganda is used to convince the world that Europeans/Caucasians are the most   brilliant, beautiful, worthy, honest, righteous, and deserving people on the planet.  Blacks

 are described and perceived as being ugly, criminals, thugs, drug dealers, and prostitutes.   Even Black children are seen as criminals and older than their European/Caucasian peers.   Black partnering relationships are plagued by a unique pattern of negative conditioning

 which further impacts the quality of the relationship. Unhealthy roles for Black males and   females have been reinforced over four-hundred years of slavery and over a hundred years

 of institutionalized racism.  

       Racist Caucasians who enslaved Blacks wanted to increase their profits and Blacks were   forced to produce as many children as possible.  Black males and females who could

 produce children were more valuable to the racist Caucasians who would daily rape Black   females including children.  In addition to satisfying their savage lust for Black females, they   wanted to impregnate females to create more “property.”  The children produced from the   racist Caucasians raping Black females were frequently given preferential treatment and

 sometimes allowed to live in the “main house” instead of the poorly constructed shacks in   which most enslaved people lived.  Separating Blacks with lighter skin color and straighter

 hair from other Blacks was used to create a divide between Blacks.   Blacks with dark skin,

 full lips and tightly curled hair were described by racist Caucasians as ugly, ignorant and as   apes. The resulting colorism became a pattern of acceptance or rejection based on whether

 a Black person possessed more European/Caucasian features and hair texture.  Blacks were   not permitted to protect nor raise their own children.  Many Black children were separated   from their parents. One of the goals of institutionalized racism is to destroy the Black family

 by destroying Black males and females.

      As a result of the Maafa, far too many Black males have been conditioned to base their   masculinity and self-esteem on their sexual ability and the number of babies they can

 produce without being responsible for taking care of them.  A Black male today who does

 not have the opportunity to work and provide for his family harbors a great deal of anger.   The Black female often becomes the target of his anger and sometimes the victim of his   abuse.  Some females base their esteem on being sexually desirable and being able to bear   children. Black females have fewer choices for selecting a love partner due to males lost to   drugs, prison, homosexuality, and non-Black female partners.  Feeling a sense of   worthlessness contributes to Black females accepting abuse in their relationships.  Feelings

 of worthlessness may be exacerbated if the Black female has dark skin, full lips, and tightly   curled hair because Black males who have embraced the anti-Black propaganda are less

 likely to seek her as a permanent love partner.  Internalized self-hatred is translated into

 the rejected Black female striking out against the Black male and far too often,

 emasculating her partner. The lack of love and tenderness between Black males and females   is not healthy and nor is it the way Black males and females treated each other before

 slavery and institutional racism.

        Before slavery, Blacks experienced wholesome family relationships.  African rites of     passage taught females how to be women, wives, and mothers.  Males were taught how to

 be men, husbands, and fathers.  Having values and cultural traditions and a society that   reinforced successful relationships ensured the success of the family and community.  Today   there are many examples of healthy Black love partners who can serve as role models but   access to these individuals is limited.  Today we must rely on Black psychologists, Black

 social workers, and Black marriage and family therapists who are trained to provide an   African-Centered approach to healing and living for Black individuals and couples. 

 Therapists who embrace and understand Black culture can help organize support groups for   Blacks who want to begin building healthy love relationships.  The Delaware Valley

 Association of Black Psychologists is one organization that promotes the healing and brings   the Virtues of Ma’at (Truth, Justice, Balance, Harmony, Compassion, Reciprocity) back to

 love relationships.

 
Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden is a clinical psychologist in private practice, and President
 of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists.  She is the host of
 "Don't Get It Twisted" a weekly program covering issues and topics pertinent to
 the African Diaspora. 

                                                                                

                                                               ANNOUNCEMENTS
                             
                                                                                        
 
 
                                 Opportunity to Advertise in DIRECTIONS Newsletter 
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 Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologist (DVABPsi), or online payment.   Advertisement rates are as follows:
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 Mailing address:     DeBorah Gilbert White, Editor
                                 DIRECTIONS Newsletter
                                 Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists
                                 P.O. Box 622
                                 Westtown, PA  19395-0622
                                         Newsletter Submissions
Members of DVABPsi are encouraged to submit articles, poems, announcements,  quotations, employment opportunities, and information related to undergraduate,  graduate and post graduate programs in psychology.  Currently, we are seeking  Guest Contributors for the months of July, August, October, and December 2021. Members of DVABPsi are invited to be Guest contributors. Articles should be a maximum of 500 words along with a short bio. Pictures can also be submitted
with articles. Contact the DIRECTIONS Newsletter team for additional information.
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