February 1, 2022
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. With this issue, we formally welcome Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden to DIRECTIONS editorial team. During our first year, she provided much guidance and support and we look forward to working together to bring an informative and quality newsletter to you each month.
DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.- Editor
Dr. Tashekah Smith
Delaware Valley Association
of Black Psychologists
Hotep DVABPsi Family,
Typically this month is associated with love and spending time appreciating the ones we love and care about. We encourage you to certainly enhance those practices and to spend time loving and appreciating yourselves. Our most recent Mbongi related to self-care. It is imperative that during this period of time (pandemic, institutional racism, epidemics. . .) that we focus on taking care of ourselves and our loved ones and enhance our eating habits, exercise habits, and address our emotional needs.
As healers, we spend the majority of our time providing healing essence to our patients and loved ones. When was the last time you sat in your quiet spaces and ushered healing essence to yourself? Spend some time filling your cup and take care of all of you so you can continue on this journey pouring out healing to others. There is a proverb that outlines "you cannot pour from an empty cup. . ."
• “I always give myself Sundays as a spiritual base of renewal—a day when I do absolutely nothing. I sit in my jammies or take a walk, and I allow myself time to BE— capital B-E—with myself.” – Oprah Winfrey
• “Self-care is one of the active ways that I love myself. When you can and as you can, in ways that feel loving, make time and space for yourself” – Tracee Ellis Ross
I encourage you to take care of yourself today and make time to routinely practice self-care activities that work for you--mindfulness, deep breathing, long walks, yoga, reading, bubble baths, listening to music, hugging a loved one, vacations, and the list is endless. Engage in the activities that work for you and bring you joy.
We love you and look forward to seeing you at our monthly meetings and Mbongis!
Black History Month is World History Every Day- Commentary
by Michael Coard
As pointed out by the international scholar, preeminent historian, and prolific author Molefi Kete Asante during a Jan. 9 lecture, Africans were the first humans/homo sapiens on this planet beginning 300,000 years ago in the Nile Valley region of East Africa. And for 75% of that time, which equals 225,000 years, they were the only humans on this planet. It wasn’t until just 75,000 years ago that other “ethnic” groups eventually came into existence after slowly migrating out of Africa and thereby developing pale skin and stringy hair due to reduced melanin resulting from a change in climate from sunny to cloudy.
Accordingly, Africa is the cradle of humankind. And it is also the cradle of civilization because the following are just a few examples of the hundreds of inventions, creations, and discoveries from there:
Agriculture — Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba region of Egypt/Kemet, 9500 BCE
Algebra — Egypt/Kemet by Ahmes, 1500 BCE
Architecture — Egypt/Kemet by Imhotep, 2600 BCE
Astronomy — Nabta Playa region of Egypt/Kemet is where the world’s first astronomical site was built, 7500 BCE
Calculus — Egypt/Kemet by Tishome, 1500 BCE
Calendar (“Adam’s Calendar) — Egypt/Kemet, 300,000 BCE
Cotton — Eastern Sudan/Nubia, 5000 BC
Medicine — “Father of Medicine” wasn’t Hippocrates, a Greek, born in 450 BCE. It was Imhotep, an Egyptian/Kemite who lived 2,200 years earlier in 2680 BCE
Religion/Monotheism — Egypt/Kemet, 1350 BCE
Writing — Sudan/Nubia, 5000 BCE
Oh, by the way, don’t forget about some of our many inventions, creations, and discoveries in America:
Air Conditioning Unit Design — Frederick Jones 1942
Dry Cleaning Process — Thomas Jennings 1821 (The first Black person to receive a U.S. patent for an invention)
Elevator (Modern) — Alexander Miles 1887
Global Positioning System/GPS (Development) — Gladys West, pre-1973
Home Heating Ventilation System — Alice Parker 1919
Home Security Alarm Video System — Marie Brown 1969
Ice Cream — Augustus Jackson 1832
Light Bulb (Modern) — Lewis Latimer 1881
Lock (Modern) — Washington Martin 1889
Potato Chip — George Crum (aka George Speck) early 1850s
Refrigeration (Frozen Food) Transport System — Frederick Jones 1949
Remote Control/TV Programmable — Joseph N. Jackson 1978
Telephone Blueprint — Lewis Latimer 1878
Thermostat Temperature Control System — Frederick Jones 1960
Traffic Signal (Traffic Light Forerunner) — Garrett Morgan 1923
Trolley/Electric Railway — Elbert Robinson 1893
If Black people knew where they came from and what their ancestors did, they wouldn’t tolerate the racism inflicted upon them by white people. And if white people knew about the real history of Africa and African descendants, they wouldn’t have their false sense of racist “supremacy.” But they know. They’re simply in denial because admitting the truth would destroy their foundation of fake superiority. That’s exactly why, as documented on Education Week’s website, “Since January 2021, 35 states have introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching … [Black history and truthful American history] or limit how teachers can discuss racism …. Fourteen states have imposed these bans and restrictions either through legislation or other avenues.”
However, none of that really matters. For the most part, I don’t care what they decide to teach or not teach. And that’s because I don’t trust them in schools (or anywhere else, for that matter because, as our Red brothers and sisters say, “They speak with forked tongue”). If Black people knew where they came from and what their ancestors did, they wouldn’t tolerate the racism inflicted upon them by white people. And as Malcolm X is quoted as proclaiming, “Only a fool would let his enemy teach his children.” Accordingly, I say “We must teach our own children, dammit.” Carter G. Woodson, born 50 years before Malcolm, agrees.
That is why, precisely 96 years ago in February 1926, Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), of which he was a co-founder, first celebrated Negro History Week, which had been publicly announced in 1925. It was renamed Black History Week in 1972 and ultimately became Black History Month in 1976. In 1912, Woodson — later recognized as the “Father of Black History” — became the first person of enslaved parents to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard University. While a student at that elite Ivy League school and attending a lecture there, he was told by one of his professors that Africans and African Americans “had no history.” Instead of merely getting angry, Woodson got even and did so through researching and organizing.
A little known fact about Negro History Week is that, as noted by ASNLH (now called the Association for the Study of African American Life and History or ASALH), Woodson “never viewed black history as a one-week affair.
He pressed for schools to use Negro History Week to demonstrate what students learned all year. It was in this sense that Blacks would learn of their past on a daily basis that he looked forward to the time when an annual celebration would no longer be necessary.” Also, he “believed that Black history was too important to America and the world to be crammed into a limited time frame. He spoke of a shift from Negro History Week to Negro History Year.”
As a result of Woodson’s and ASALH’s meticulous research, as well as the meticulous research of African-centered scholars such as Marimba Ani, Asante, Henry E. Baker, Charles Blockson, Michael Bradley, Jacob Caruthers, Cheikh Anta Diop, Asa Hilliard, Yosef Ben Jochannan, Edward Robinson, J.A. Rogers, Ivan Van Sertima, Frances Cress Welsing, Chancellor Williams, and many others, we now know that Africans and African Americans not only have history but also have the oldest history on the planet along with some of the greatest discoveries in world history and some of the greatest inventions and innovations in American history.
Michael Coard, an attorney and radio host, is a columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this piece first appeared.
FOCUS: DVABPsi Committees
Members of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsi) are encouraged to consider working with at least one of the organization's committees. It is one way to become and stay actively involved in the work of DVABPsi by supporting the causes, issues, and mission of the Delaware chapter. You are invited as a member of DVABPsi to contact the chair of the committee you have interest in to explore how you join in the work they are doing. Following is a summary of the work of the chapter's current committees and the committee's Chair contact information:
Professional Development Committee
Judy Henderson, LMSW, MHS, MS - Chair
Founder/CEO Empowerment Resource Associates. Inc.
The Professional Development Committee is responsible for conducting research activities on the membership, coordinating and consulting with members on research projects, planning continuing education programs for members, working with fundraising, and participating in the programming phase of conferences.
Resource Development Committee
Faruq T.N. Iman, Ph.D., C.H.P.- Chair and Treasurer
Psychotherapist, Certified Holistic Practitioner, Retired Educator
Senior Consulting Editor Association of Black Psychologists
(ABPsi) newsletter, Psychdiscourse, Editor ABPsi Eastern Region
newsletter The MasharikiGazeti
The Resource Development Committee develops and implements a program for fundraising for the organization by developing financial goals and submitting appropriate written statements, marshaling resources, and expertise for the purpose of raising money. It works and consults with the treasury on committee activities and develops a proposed operational budget at the beginning of each year. The Committee submits semi-annual written reports to the Executive Committee on committee progress and adheres to policy guidelines approved by the Executive Committee.
Public Relations Committee
Desiree N. Harris, BA, MS - Chair
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
School-Based Counselor K-12
Greater Philadelphia area.
The Public Relations Committee discharges all news releases and maintains public relations contacts. It publishes a regular newsletter and other organizational and professional documents. Members work and consult with the President-Elect on committee activities, and develop a proposed operational budget at the beginning of each year to submit to the Treasurer. The Committee submits semi-annual written reports to the Executive Committee on committee progress and adheres to policy guidelines approved by the Executive Committee.
Community Outreach Committee
Colmon "Cole" Holmes, M.Ed.- Chair
Retired administrator educational support programs Temple University
Co-founder of the Afro-Asian Institute, now known as
Department of Africology and African American Studies
Former talk show host WDAS Radio Philadelphia
The Community Outreach Committee is responsible for coordinating requests from the community, determining fees for psychological services, keeping abreast of social problems in the community, and providing direction for the organization's participation in community meetings concerning mental health services.
Professional Affairs Committee
Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC- Chair
Immediate Past President DVABPsi
Board Certified African Centered/Black Psychologist
Licensed Psychologist in PA
The Professional Affairs Committee is responsible for developing ongoing relationships with other professional groups and with governmental agencies which regulate standards for psychologists. This committee serves as a liaison between DVABPsi and the professional community.
Janice HoffmanWillis, Ed.D.- Chair
Founding Member DVABPsi, Retired School Psychologist
Chester Upland School District, Former Psychologists
Philadelphia Psychiatric Center (PPC), Due Process Hearing
Officer State of Delaware Special Education Disputes
The Nominations Committee conducts the election process in a fair and orderly manner to solicit nominations from the membership for elected positions and communicate election results to the membership. The Committee adheres to the election procedures described in Article X and XI of the Bylaws, works and consults with the President on committee activities, and develops a proposed operational budget at the beginning of each year to submit to the Treasurer. It submits semiannual written reports to the Executive Committee on committee progress and adheres to policy guidelines approved by the Executive committee.
Students Concerns Committee
Rashidat Anthonio, BS- Co-Chair
Alumni Penn State University
Neuropsychology, Behavior Technician working with children with autism
Ferlin Charles, PsyD. Candidate- Co-Chair
Trained Life Coach, Licensed Clinical Social Worker
The Students Concerns Committee is responsible for providing career and educational services to students interested in psychology as a profession, making contact with and organizing students for the purpose of increasing minority involvement in graduate education, identifying and referring students to resources where career information can be disseminated, and assisting students in decision making for career planning.
Ayo Marie Gooden, Ph.D
1968 (Age 15)
As the crystalline drops fell from the azure sky,
tiny inhabitants of the huge world hurried under
their umbrellas of magnificent colors.
Umbrellas that would be opened every morning and
closed again at still night.
These were umbrellas that became more brilliant
With each gracious drop from heaven.
So superb were these umbrellas that after the
golden light again appeared in the azure sky, the
tiny inhabitants of the huge world would fly above
them to gaze at them.
And as the golden light shined with more splendor,
The reflection of the umbrellas shined in the sky
To form a majestic band of colors that was to
Appear after every magical shower.
1968 (Age 15)
As the golden sun peeked over the majestic mountains, it's rays awakened all life.
The trees that bathed in the rays surrounded a magnificent world, a world in which It seemed
Mother Nature had made especially beautiful.
Here were grand flowers still moist from the morning dew from which honeybees collected sweet
nectar, and white-tailed squirrels scurried with their jaws filled with choice delicacies. The birds
were singing their songs of love with melodies never heard by man.
Then, one day It happened, man arrived, bringing hate, death, ignorance, and destruction.
The trees no longer bathed in the sun, nor was there a magnificent world.
The flowers produced no more nectar for the bees.
The white- tailed squirrels stopped scurrying, and the melodies of the birds ceased.
The poems above were written by me when I was fifteen years old. The poem, Umbrellas,
reveals the joy and possibilities seen by me as a young Black teenager. The second poem,
Visions, sees the reality of the world as it is with all of the growing problems that seem to be
prophetic. It must be noted that the Caucasian/white teacher did not see my potential in my
writings (nor in me). She accused me of plagiarism! The school counselor ignored my honor
roll status and put me on the secretarial track, never mentioning college as an appropriate option.
This educational abuse was common in 1968 and it remains common today. Black psychologists
have a responsibility to uncover the abuse, document it, and rescue our children as we wipe out
I was lucky and became the first in my family to go to college because a particular college was
recruiting Blacks to ensure their Federal Grants. Most of our Black children are not as fortunate.
I became one of twenty Blacks at a Caucasian institution with 2,000 students. The racism on the
campus inspired me to leave and become a student at Lincoln University, PA where I earned my
B.A. degree in psychology. Lincoln has a wonderful scholarship, Bond-Hill, that pays for
medical, dental, law, education, science, and many other degrees, if you are a Pennsylvania
resident and maintain a “B” average all four years at Lincoln. If you are maintaining a “B”
average or higher during your time at Lincoln, you are eligible for scholarships that will pay for
your four years at Lincoln. Join DVABPsi and help us to provide the cultural/psychological
support our people need and deserve. You can also donate and help those of us in DVABPsi to
the work that will heal our people and return us to our original level of greatness.
Join The Association of Black Psychologists (www.abpsi.org) and DVABPsi. Make your contribution to healing our people!
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