May 1, 2021
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 for the future. Our President's message provides commentary on the
murder and trial of Mr. George Floyd. We remember among Mr. Floyd's last words was his calling out to his mother. This issue is dedicated to Mothers and those who have stepped in
as mothers across the African Diaspora. Yesterday and today, you have and continue to nurture our community, and as in George Floyd's case, come to memory, as we take our
last breath. We offer a collective thank you to those women among the ancestors and those who walk among us by giving them honor for their wisdom, guidance, protection, care, and love.
DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.- Editor
Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden
Delaware Valley Association
of Black Psychologists
Why did Derek Chauvin assassinate Mr. George Floyd? The first clue is in the question.
Mr. George Floyd was a Black man. Derek Chauvin is not a man, but he is a Caucasian male.
A man has compassion, courage, courtesy, ethics, good will, integrity, open-mindedness, respect, spirituality, and wisdom (Gooden, A. 2018). Derek lacks the basic characteristics
of manhood. He appears to be a racist (a Caucasian who has the power to discriminate against Blacks and other *Melanics) who is driven by a need to feel powerful against a
Black man. Sadly, Derek is only one manifestation of the racist world in which we live. His conviction represents the kind of verdict needed to begin bringing balance to interactions between Melanics and the police. When police are not sanctioned, for assassinating
unarmed Melanics, the frequency of the assassinations increase. When the police can use “qualified immunity” to assassinate unarmed males, children, females, people who are differently abled, the lack of accountability breeds an air of year-round hunting season. Caucasian police are the hunters and Melanics are the prey. What kind of society embraces “qualified immunity” to allow and promote assassinations of Melanics?
We seldom analyze perpetrators of violent crimes when they are Caucasian.
Psychologists must examine what kind of person intentionally assassinates another person, especially, when the assassin has sworn an oath to “protect and serve.” One must ask, who was he protecting, and who was he serving? There are many excellent police who are providing compassionate and respectful services to Blacks and other Melanics. However, understanding the thinking of descendants of people who hunted Blacks to enslave them is essential in understanding our current police “forces.” Perhaps the word “force” is a hint. Blacks were “forced” to return to enslavement. Native People were “forced” to live on reservations. Latinx are “forced” to live in cages by racist police. Psychologically, the fear police have of Blacks and other Melanics is generated by their fear of retaliation for the
abuses Melanics have always received at the hands of racists. If police have assassinated Melanics, they must be prosecuted and stopped from assassinating more Melanics. If police are afraid of Blacks, and other Melanics, these police need to be removed from active duty. They should be required to have an extensive evaluation by Black psychologists who can assess their ability to adequately perform their duties in an anti-racist manner and
mandated to have psychotherapy to address their maladies.
Qualified Immunity must be eliminated. Police must be held to a higher standard-not a lower, anything goes, standard. The prosecution of police, who violate the rights of others, must be a priority to create confidence in the stated responsibility, to “protect and serve.”
The conviction of Derek Chauvin should have been a swift and certain outcome. The reality that most police are given a license to assassinate Blacks and other Melanics using the “Qualified Immunity” mandates that we must create legislation to eliminate this immoral
law. Doing the right thing should not be an event that healthy people fear will not happen.
You can become active in creating and supporting legislation to eliminate “Qualified Immunity.” When you learn the truth about your race, culture, ethnicity, you can teach others. Joining organizations such as the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations (www.ascac.org) will help you to learn what has been hidden from you.
Joining the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (www.dvabpsi.org) helps us
to promote the necessary healing from the ongoing trauma Blacks feel at work, in schools, driving down the street, and even in their homes. Together, we can bring an end to racism.
Harambee! Harambee! Harambee! (Let us all pull together).
Hotep (Peace and Blessings)- Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, LLC
*People of Color
Gooden, A.M.C. (2018). A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle: Finding Your Ideal Love Partner,
Making Love Last and Ending Unhealthy Relationships; A Multi-Racial Examination of Love Relationships.
Guest Contributor: Dr. Janice HoffmanWillis Ed.D.
A Grandmother's Interview
A more nontraditional family who would be unfamiliar to most and often forgotten in society was chosen to be interviewed for this article. This family consists of a grandmother and five grandchildren from the ages of eight to fifteen, and the grandmother is confined to
a wheelchair. She also babysits her three year old twin grandchildren. When I interviewed
the grandmother, her greatest concern was feeding her family, because she didn’t have
food stamps for two months due to a glitch in the system. She explained that she doesn’t have a car nor anyone to take her to handle her business in person. In addition, one of her grandchildren had the virus and they had to be quarantined, which was another obstacle for her. Also being with the grandchildren from 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM, restricts her from
tending to activities for herself. When they were in school, they were getting meals there
and she only had to give them a snack before dinner, meaning that food lasted longer in the house, and they don’t like the food the district is handing out during the Pandemic,
which they refer to as “City Food.” The grandmother has tried to find ways of improving
Her day begins at 6 AM struggling to get the five and sometimes seven grandchildren
up, feeding them, setting up and being ready to start school. They begin zoom from 7:45
AM - 9:00 AM. One child has to have her hair just right, which gets her late on Zoom, and
in their district missing one Zoom is equivalent to missing the entire day. The
grandmother is getting letters about her absences. She prefers for the children to work in
the living room so she can keep an eye on them. Only the two special education students
have a desk and earplugs, which was provided by the school. The others are on the floor
or radiator. She has looked for desks, even the used ones are too expensive for her. Having
a desk, they can put their computer and papers on it. The day is mostly peaceful.
However, there are times when they are arguing that one is too close, their Zoom is too
loud, don’t touch me, etc. The grandparent admits that the older children will help the younger ones.
Each child, has a different platform to communicate with her/his teacher through
Email, ClassDoJo, Schoology, and Home Access. The youngest special education
student has had a lot of challenges, because he is having difficulty understanding, and
has to log-in each time for different classes, which is too difficult for him. Therefore, someone has to be with him at all times to get him logged in. He is just stuck. She has contacted the school for support and sought assistance from Parent Information Center (PIC) a parent advocacy agency. The guardian (grandmother) feels that if he were in school, she could get him tested for a change in educational placement and speech. In
the interim, she is just watching him regress. Another grandchild, feels he would be
doing better face- to- face because his teacher could come to his desk to help him. The grandmother thinks the teachers should be around longer after school to help the students. During the day, she gets constant beeps from teachers informing her if her grandchild isn’t engaged, off camera, won’t answer the question, etc. Sometimes, she doesn’t respond immediately because of being overwhelmed and waits to listen at the
end of the day. She isn’t as stressed as when the virtual learning started unexpectedly
in March 2020. “It is what it is.” She expressed that her grandchildren are great, don’t have discipline problems and are respectful. She is working on getting them in bed early so she can get some much needed rest. She would have to start around 6:00 PM to get them in bed by 9:00 PM. As we ended the interview, the grandmother teasingly stated that she has thought about slipping them some melatonin (sleep aid) to get them in bed earlier, anything that will help.
Dr. Janice HoffmanWillis is a retired certified School Psychologist. Currently, she
is a Due Process Hearing Officer in the State of Delaware for Special Education Disputes. Dr. HoffmanWillis is a founding member and currently the Delaware
Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi)’s secretary.
Ferlin Charles, MSW, MS
"The One and Only King Alexander"
Professionally, I am a trained life coach, licensed clinical social worker, and psychology doctoral student, who has been in the field, for over 25 years. I have worked with all ages over the years, and have been honored to do so. I also have a passion for women's issues
and my desire is to support women, especially when we feel like we are drowning.
Personally, I am a sister, daughter, and single mom to the love of my life. After my
little one was born, my need to make my mark on the world became stronger. I wanted to
learn more, help more, and be better. When he started asking questions, I was dismayed by not having many options in books, that would help me to answer his questions. When I did find books, I still yearned for him to have books where he looked like the characters and he could relate to the storylines. Hence, my first book, "Mama's Here, Daddy's There" which talks about parents not being together anymore. I wanted to create books that he could
always look at and be proud. More books soon followed, such as "The One and Only King Alexander, and here we are. I want to leave him a legacy, such as my books, that he inspired, and if he wants, he can continue long after I am gone. I have a feeling that he will be in the helping profession when he is older because he has a heart of gold!
To view and purchase Ferlin's books, please visit her website at NuVista Legacy.com.
MAY 2, 2021
The Black Health Trust presents every Sunday 12:00 pm PDT/3:00 EDT
May 2021 MBONGI
Dr. Celeste Malone
The May 2021 Mbongi Presenter is Dr. Celeste Malone who is the 2021-2022
President-Elect of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and Associate Professor and Coordinator of the School Psychology program at Howard University.
Dr. Malone’s Presentation, “Microaggressions and Discrimination” will address how one experiencing microaggressions can have a deleterious impact on emotional health, including depressive symptoms, negative affect and lowered self-esteem. This presentation will increase one’s knowledge of microaggressions, examine the role racial microaggression
plays in shaping marginalized individuals’ well-being and will provide recommendations to address microaggressions in our society. Visit the DVABPsi MBONGI page for the presentations
date and time scheduled for late May or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.