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Welcome to DIRECTIONS the monthly online newsletter of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi). 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 in the future.


Views and opinions in DIRECTIONS are those of the authors and do not purport to represent the opinions or views of DVABPsi or its members.

Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, Co-Editor

Auriane Nguiadem Kemegne, BA, Co-Editor

“The way to win is to try.” - Stacey Abrams

A message from our President: Dr. Ingrid Tulloch 


Hotep  Members and Friends,


In the wise words of Dr. Joseph L. White, PhD, “We cannot depend on them to define us. We have to take charge and define ourselves. We need to build our own psychology.” 

As we celebrate Black History Month, I am compelled to reflect on the idea that Black history is not just a segment of the past; it is the history of humanity, deserving recognition every month. The narrative of our people as kidnapped, bartered, and sold Africans, represents only a fraction of our extensive history. A history marked by significant contributions that continue to shape our world.

Despite ongoing struggles with systemic inequities and racism, we persist in our efforts to forge a better, more equitable world. While we may not know the names of all our ancient ancestral healers of the psyche, it's crucial to acknowledge the deep-rooted history and influential contributions of Black individuals in both building our nation and shaping the field of psychology in America.

Black psychologists have played an indispensable role in broadening our understanding of mental health, especially in the context of racial and cultural experiences. We honor well-known pioneers like Dr. Kenneth Clark and Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark, as well as the less recognized but equally influential figures such as Dr. Robert Guthrie and Dr. Hope Landrine. We especially remember Dr. Joseph L. White, Ph.D., who urged us to build our own psychology.

Dr. White, a founding member of the Association of Black Psychologists, laid the groundwork for the establishment of organizations like the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists. These trailblazers, drawing upon the knowledge and resilience of our ancestors, challenged biases and expanded the psychological discourse to encompass diverse perspectives.

This Black History Month, as we remember our ancestors and pioneers in Black Psychology, the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists reiterates its dedication to advocating for mental health equity and cultural competence. We acknowledge the pressing need to address the unique psychological challenges faced by the Black community, which includes combating systemic racism, promoting access to culturally competent mental health care, and supporting research that highlights the psychological resilience and strength of Black individuals.

We also celebrate the emerging voices and future leaders in Black psychology. Our students and early career psychologists are not merely the future of our profession; they are vital contributors to the ongoing dialogue about mental health in the Black community and beyond. Their insights and energy are crucial in our collective pursuit of meaningful change.

Let us continue our collaborative efforts to create a society where the mental health needs of Black individuals are met with understanding, respect, and excellence.

May this month be filled with learning, reflection, and a renewed sense of purpose in our mission as not just psychologists, but as Black Psychologists and descendants of the earliest healers of the psyche.

Yours in service, 

“We must always attempt to lift as we climb.” - Angela Davis


Dr. Carlton Payne has more than 30 years of experience in the field of psychology. He earned his BA in psychology from LaSalle University, his MS in Counseling Psychology from Villanova University and his PhD. in Educational Psychology from Temple University. He has taught college and graduate students and served as the Chief Psychologist and Director of Behavioral Health for the City of Philadelphia Prison System. His areas of expertise include Forensic Psychology, Psychological Testing/Assessment, Learning Abilities/Disabilities, Mediation/Dispute Resolution, Suicide Prevention/Grief Counseling, Diversity/Multicultural Education, Anger Management, and Curriculum Design.

Ebonee is a six part story addressing child abuse by Dr. Carlton Payne.

Ebonee is a fictitious story based on real events.


“When I got home, I asked to spend the night at my grandma’s. Usually, I would stay the whole weekend. I was happy there. She and I, we just, well, clicked, you know? We got along so well. Grandma didn't like my father. She says she knew he was a loser when my mom first brought him home. She said that I was the best thing he had ever done in his whole miserable life. Since she disliked him so much, I had never written to him, talked to him or nothin’. I thought of writing to him about my problem but each time I tried, the right words would not come out. No, this had to be done face-to-face. That was the only way. 

“When Monday came around, I went straight to school from Grandma’s as I usually did. After school, I was supposed to go home but, this time, I just couldn't go home afterward. I couldn't take it anymore. I just didn't want him touching me. Just the thought of that sent a shiver down my spine. I just went back to Grandma’s. “When she asked me what was wrong, I began to cry. But I just couldn't tell her. I begged her to take me to see my father. ‘Please, please,’ I said. “She said "Alright, alright, child, if it's that important to you, we'll go see him tomorrow.’ “She called my mother and told her that I was going to spend another night. Mom wasn't there but he answered the phone. He was difficult at first but when Grandma began to question his reaction, he must have caught himself. Grandma said, ‘Just have my daughter call me.’ 

“That night, I tossed and turned. I couldn't wait to tell my father. He would do something. He would protect me, I thought. “The long bus ride to the prisons seemed even longer this time. But finally it was over. We went into a long line of people and were pat searched. They took me behind a curtain and checked my underwear. It was humiliating but I thought it was worth it to see my father. “We were led by uniformed guards to a room with a long line of windows. Each window had a metal chair in front of it. My Grandma stayed over by the entrance of the room and told me to go ‘head. I went and sat on one of the chairs and waited. 

A man finally came out and sat facing me. He was kind of handsome, had wavy hair with a patch of gray that was parted on one side. He had a thick mustache and piercing eyes. He looked at me but didn't say a word. “I spoke through the holes in the glass. ‘I'm your daughter.’ I said. “ I know,” he said. ‘they told me you were coming. You look like your mom,’ he said. “ ‘Mom says I look like you,’ I said. “He seemed so uncomfortable with me. We mostly just sat and stared at each other, suffering in silence. When our visiting time was over and as I got up to leave, he said, ‘You know I love you.’ 

“ ‘Thank you,’ I said. But I was just being polite. How could he love me when he didn't even know me? I just could not tell him about my problem. There was nothing he could do. By meeting him, I realized that he wasn't a big boss, calling shots, or a big time gangster who could put out a contract. He was just what my grandma had said he was. A loser, a helpless loser. He wasn’t tough or strong. He was just another locked-up ass. 


“On the way home, the bus was sort of empty. Grandma asked me why I wanted to see him so badly but I didn’t say anything. I felt a lump in my throat and tears began to roll out of my eyes and down my cheeks. I tried not to break down but I had lost control. I needed her more than ever; there was nobody else. “She asked, ‘What is the matter child?’ Although I was afraid for her health, I had to tell her. Tearful and trembling, I told her, finally. I TOLD. 

“It was like a weight had been lifted off my back. She laid my head on her lap for the rest of the bus ride home and stroked my hair. When we got back to her house, she went straight upstairs and came down with a big, cloth, old-fashioned-type pocketbook. She called it her garment bag. She gave it to me to carry and we both walked up the block and got on another bus, the bus to my mom's house. The bag was heavy but I didn't complain, it was light compared to the burden that had just been lifted from me. Grandma was silent all the way there. She just sat beside me and stared straight ahead. When we got to our stop, it was getting dark. We walked toward mom’s house. Grandma walked very deliberately. Between the weight of the bag that I was carrying and the speed she was walking, I had to trot to keep up with her. Grandma banged on the door and when my mother opened the door we both went in. There was silence. My mother must have read Grandma's face because she broke the silence. “I know she ain't been telling you that bullshit ‘bout Goldboy have she?" That's when he came into the room. I stepped behind Grandma and she took the big pocketbook from me. He was loud and threatening. “ ‘I'm tired of you lying on me. Ain't nobody touched you. You need a good whoopin’ ” and he began to take off his belt while moving toward us. That's when Grandma reached in the purse and pulled out an old-fashioned sawed-off double-barreled shotgun and let them have both barrels. Boom! Boom! 

“Grandma got both of them with the shotgun. Because of her arthritis, she barely could lift it so she only got them in the legs. Goldboy ran into the kitchen wounded and bleeding. My mother was down on the floor hurt but conscious. “Grandma began screaming, ‘I knowed it. I knowed he weren't no good. You let him rape your own child, your own blood. You is nothin’ but trash. You is trash!’ “The police came and arrested my grandma. They took me to the police station too. They asked me if I would give a statement. They kept me waiting for a real long time,  While I was sitting at the officer’s desk, a lady cop came and dropped a paper on the desk beside me, I looked around a bit but then read the  paper. I don't know if they left it accidentally or on purpose but I read it. It was my grandma’s statement. It read: 

Maternal Grandmother’s statement--- According to the Maternal Grandmother the situation with Ebonee and the mother’s paramour had gotten progressively worse over the years. She says she had not wanted to get involved in her daughter's life but she could not stand to see her Granddaughter miserable. Grandmother says that she first suspected what had been happening when Ebonee came to her home at 4:00 in the morning. Her left eye was swollen and she had several bruises about the face and neck. The child stated that she had gotten in a neighborhood fight and she didn't want to go home because her mother would get mad about her fighting. The Grandmother said she had no reason to suspect her granddaughter of lying but could not understand the lateness of the hour that she came to her home. She assured Ebonee that she would explain to the mother what happened and she was sure things would be all right. When grandmother went to the phone Ebonee became very upset. She begged the grandmother not to call and to let her stay with her for a few days until the bruises went away. The grandmother advised the girl that she could stay but she had to phone the mother to let her know where Ebonee was staying so that she wouldn't worry. 

“When you are willing to make sacrifices for a great cause, you will never be alone.” - Coretta Scott King

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Featured monthly starting in December 2023
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written by

Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC


Every month, we will explore a different Black country to expand our understanding and appreciation of diverse Black cultures. This month, we delve into Belize. Whether you're planning a trip or simply want to broaden your knowledge, join us as we uncover the essence of Belize.

As an avid traveler with a penchant for immersing myself in different cultures, Belize holds a special place in my heart. My experiences in this captivating country have left an indelible mark, and I'm thrilled to share insights that will enhance your understanding and appreciation of Belize.

The Flag:

The flag of Belize is a distinctive and symbolic representation of the country's identity and history. It features a royal blue field with two narrow red horizontal stripes at the top and bottom edges of the flag. In the center of the flag is a white circle containing the coat of arms of Belize.


The coat of arms depicts several symbolic elements:

  • A shield with three panels representing the country's natural resources: a ship in the upper left panel representing the logging industry, a paddle and squaring axe in the upper right panel representing the importance of the timber industry, and a saw blade in the lower panel representing the country's historical mahogany production.

  • Below the shield is a banner with the country's motto: "Sub Umbra Floreo," which translates to "Under the shade I flourish."

  • Supporting the shield are two men: a Mestizo holding an axe representing the timber industry and a Black man holding an oar representing the logging industry.

  • Above the shield is a mahogany tree, the national tree of Belize.


The flag was adopted on September 21, 1981, when Belize gained independence from the United Kingdom. Its design reflects the country's natural beauty, cultural diversity, and historical heritage, making it a symbol of national pride for Belizeans.


Geography and Climate:

Situated on the northeastern coast of Central America, Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Its diverse geography encompasses lush rainforests, expansive savannas, and the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world. Blessed with a tropical climate, Belize enjoys warm temperatures year-round, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to explore pyramids built by the Olmecs.   However, it's essential to note that Belize experiences distinct wet and dry seasons, with the wet season typically lasting from June to November. My two visits were March and May 2022. 


Must-Have Travel Essentials:

Before embarking on your Belizean adventure, ensure you're well-prepared with the following essentials:

  • Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Belize.

  • Travel Documents: Familiarize yourself with the entry requirements for Belize and ensure you have the necessary travel documents. 

  • Sun Protection: Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the tropical sun.

  • Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from mosquitoes, flies (they have a horrible bite) and other insects by packing a reliable insect repellent. Take rubbing alcohol.

  • Lightweight Clothing: Lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for warm weather conditions.

  • Swimsuits: Don't forget to pack your swimsuit for exploring Belize's pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.

  • Water Shoes: Essential for all water activities such as snorkeling and exploring rocky shorelines.

  • Eco-Friendly Products: Show your commitment to environmental conservation by bringing eco-friendly products such as reusable water bottles and biodegradable toiletries.


Accommodation Options:

Belize offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every traveler's preferences and budget. From luxurious beachfront resorts to eco-friendly jungle lodges, you'll find accommodations that caters to your needs. Some popular options include:

  • Beach Resorts: Indulge in luxury at beachfront resorts offering stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and world-class amenities. The one we selected was X’ Tan Ha because we like to cook our own food.






  • Jungle Lodges: Immerse yourself in nature at eco-friendly jungle lodges nestled within Belize's lush rainforests, offering a unique blend of adventure and relaxation. 

  • Eco-Resorts: Stay at eco-resorts committed to sustainability and conservation, where you can experience the beauty of Belize while minimizing your environmental impact.


Cultural Highlights:

Discover the rich cultural tapestry of Belize through its vibrant music, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality. Don't miss the opportunity to:

  • Sample Belizean Cuisine: Delight your taste buds with traditional Belizean dishes such as rice and beans, stew chicken, fry jacks, and garnaches. Fruits you must taste include Ackee, Breadfruit and others

  • Explore Olmec Ruins: Step back in time and explore ancient Olmec (incorrectly credited to the Mayans) ruins such as Xunantunich and Caracol, which offer fascinating insights into Belize's rich history.

    • At Lamanai you get a glimpse into the Olmec civilization that once flourished here. Due to racist narratives, the fact that the builders of these pyramids were Black is disguised by crediting the Mayans with the period of pyramid building. The Olmecs were building civilizations in Belize over a thousand years before the Mayans emerged. This is my husband standing in front of Lamanai.  The ride on the riverboat was exhilarating and relaxing. Make sure that if you are wearing a hat, that it is secure !

  • You can explore Xunantunich.

    • From the top of Xunantunich, you can see Guatemala.

  • Experience Garifuna Culture: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the Garifuna people through music, dance, and traditional cuisine.

  • Snorkel or Dive the Belize Barrier Reef: Explore the mesmerizing underwater world of the Belize Barrier Reef, home to an incredible diversity of marine life.

  • The Secret Beach: is a protected beach with clear shallow waters that offers a beautiful place to enjoy the food from the beachside restaurants and the sun.

  • The Blue Hole: While not exactly hidden, diving or flying over this colossal marine sinkhole is an experience that many don't realize is accessible from Belize. It's a must-see for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.

  • Shipstern Nature Reserve: Explore this less-visited reserve to discover a variety of ecosystems, from mangroves to tropical hardwood forests, and the chance to see Belize's exotic wildlife in its natural habitat.


Black-Owned Businesses in Belize:

Support local entrepreneurs and explore Black-owned businesses in Belize, including:

  • Restaurants: Indulge in delicious Caribbean and Creole cuisine at Black-owned restaurants and eateries throughout Belize.

  • Tour Operators: Experience the best of Belize with Black-owned tour operators offering guided tours, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures.

  • Artisan Shops: Discover unique handmade crafts, artwork, and souvenirs at Black-owned artisan shops and markets across Belize.


Famous Belizeans:

Learn about notable Belizeans who have made significant contributions to the country and the world, including:








Andy Vivien Palacio (born on December 2, 1960 - transcended January 19, 2008.) is renowned musician and cultural ambassador known for popularizing Garifuna music and culture. Andy Palacio was born in the coastal town of Barranco, Belize, was a musical maestro and cultural icon celebrated for his contributions to Garifuna music and culture. His journey began in the heart of Belize, where he was raised surrounded by the vibrant rhythms and melodies of the Garifuna people, descendants of West African and indigenous Carib-Arawak tribes.From a young age, Andy was captivated by music, honing his skills as a songwriter, guitarist, and percussionist. His passion for preserving and promoting Garifuna culture led him on a lifelong mission to share its rich heritage with the worldAndy's musical career soared to new heights with the formation of the Garifuna Collective, a renowned musical ensemble dedicated to showcasing the rhythms and traditions of the Garifuna people. As the lead singer and visionary behind the group, Andy infused contemporary sounds with traditional Garifuna rhythms, creating a dynamic fusion that captivated audiences worldwide. Throughout his illustrious career, Andy released several critically acclaimed albums, including "Watina," a masterpiece hailed as one of the greatest world music albums of all time. The album garnered international acclaim.



Andy Palacio and his award-winning album, Watina.


Marion Jones (born October 12, 1975) is a former track and field athlete and Olympic gold medalist who hails from Belize. Also known as Marion Jones-Thompson, is an American former world champion track-and-field athlete and former professional basketball player. She won three gold medals and two bronze medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, but was later stripped of her medals after admitting to steroid use. Los Angeles, U.S. Jones was one of the most famous athletes to be linked to the BALCO scandal. At the 2000 Olympic Games, she became the first woman to win five track-and-field medals at a single Olympics. In 2007, however, she admitted to having used banned substances and subsequently returned the medals. At an early age, she displayed talent on the track, and her family moved several times during her adolescence so that she could compete on prominent junior-high and high-school teams. By the time she was 12, Jones had begun competing internationally. She was also an accomplished high-school basketball player, winning California’s Division I Player of the Year award in 1993.

She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a basketball scholarship, and in 1994 she helped the women’s basketball team win the national title. Jones decided to sit out the 1995–96 basketball season in order to focus on track and on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. A series of foot injuries, however, prevented her from trying out for the U.S. Olympic team. She then returned to basketball, and in 1997 she was named the Most Valuable Player of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

After graduating in 1997, Jones concentrated on track. At the 2000 Olympics in SydneyAustralia, she won gold medals in the 100 metres (10.75 sec) and the 200 metres (21.84 sec) and as a member of the 4 × 400-metre relay team (3 min 22.62 sec); she also claimed bronze medals in the long jump and the 4 × 100-metre relay. At the 2001 world championships, Jones won gold medals in the 200 metres and the 4 × 100-metre relay, and she went undefeated during the 2002 season. She took much of 2003 off because of the birth of her son. She returned to athletics in 2004 but was not up to her previous form. At the Olympic Games in Athens that year, she managed only a fifth-place finish in the long jump.

Belize offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, making it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. Whether you're exploring ancient ruins, snorkeling the Belize Barrier Reef, or savoring delicious cuisine, Belize has something for everyone. Embrace the spirit of adventure and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Belizean culture.


As we conclude our exploration of Belize, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or dreaming of your first visit, let's continue to celebrate and learn about the diverse Black cultures that enrich our world.


Join us next month as we journey to another fascinating destination on our quest to expand our global perspective of Blacks in the diaspora !

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Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.”  - Madam CJ Walker



        The Association of Black Psychologists ( and DVABPsi  


Make your contribution to healing our people! 

Your donations allow us to provide free

  • Individual Therapy

  • Couples Therapy

  • Family Therapy

  • Court Assessments

​The more you donate, the more we can serve.

DVABPsi membership dues were increased to $50.00 for professionals and associate members, $25 for elders and $20 for students. Membership information and the application form can be found on our website.



  • Free CEs for Licensed Psychologists and licensed social workers


  • Advertising Your Products (Books, Toys, Products Research, etc.)


  • Opportunity to Present your Books or Research during our monthly Mbongi


  • Jegnaship (Mentoring) for Graduate and Undergraduate Students


  • Community Partnerships and Involvement


  • Job Opportunities and Advanced Notices of Job Postings


  • Networking with other Blacks in psychology, social work, marriage and family therapy, counseling


  • Opportunity to Receive Supervision for Licensure


  • Advertise your Workshops/Training or Business to Members and other Mental Health Professionals

“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” - Maya Angelou

      Opportunity to Advertise in DIRECTIONS Newsletter 

Advertisements can be submitted for review and publication at least three weeks before the next month's issue along with a check or money order payable to:

DVABPsi or you may make an online payment. Advertisement rates are as follows:

                                 Full Page:  $100.00

                                 Half Page:  $50.00

                                 Quarter Page:  $25.00

                                 Business Card: $15.00 


Mailing address:     Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, Co-Editor

                                 DIRECTIONS Newsletter

                                 Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists

                                 P.O. Box 542

                                 Westtown, PA  19395-0542

Directions 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.   We welcome non-member guest contributors.  Members of DVABPsi are encouraged to submit their research, papers on their areas of interest and reflections on current events.  Please submit a short bio and photo with articles. Related pictures and graphics can also be submitted with articles. Contact: DIRECTIONS Newsletter Team for additional information at:

”You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” - Shirley Chisolm



The Mashariki Gazeti

                                                A CALL FOR PAPERS​​

Calling all articles (scholarly, opinions, etc.) about Africa, Africans, African Americans, psychology, advertisements, events, poetry, quotes, and announcements. The Mashariki Gazeti (MG) is published twice (i.e. September and March) during the fiscal year (i.e. August to July). Submission deadlines are August 15th and February 15th.

Advertisement Rates

Advertise employment opportunities, business ventures, office space, conferences, business cards, trips, and other events. Our circulation reaches over 300 people in Boston, New York, New Jersey, Delaware Valley (i.e. Philadelphia and surroundings), and Washington, D.C.

$100.00 – full page
$50.00 – ½ page
$25.00 – ¼ page
$15.00 – business card

Advertisements must be camera ready. Make checks or money orders payable to:

Dr. Faruq Iman

Please submit all articles, ads, etc. to:

Faruq T.N. Iman, Ph.D., C.H.P., Editor

1301 N. 54 th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19131-4307

(215) 921 – 2557

“You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can’t go wrong. The world is behind you.” – Josephine Baker


"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear." – Rosa Parks

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