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                                                          June 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
wiith 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





                                  JUNETEENTH OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY

    I never heard of Juneteenth until I was immersed in Black cultural activities during my        early thirties.   Knowing that Juneteenth is the longest running Black holiday in the United        States and knowing about other Black holidays provides a cultural grounding necessary to        protect us from the hostile environment in which we live.  Juneteenth is the commemor-          ation of the last group of Blacks to be informed of the end of slavery in the United States.      On June 19th, 1865 Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas leading the      Union soldiers to announce and enforce the release of enslaved Blacks. Many people              falsely believe that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, freed all              Blacks, but it did not.  Lincoln only extended freedom to those Blacks in                            Confederate-controlled states, if they were willing to fight for the Union.  Blacks, in the          Union-controlled states, remained enslaved until the end of the war. When people say July      4, 1776, is “our” independence day, you now know Caucasians were free but they were        keeping Blacks enslaved while they were assassinating Native People, Latinx, and Asians.  

    It is important that we accept the fact that we and many of the descendants of the

people who enslaved us have been lied to about who we are as Blacks.  We were enslaved

for 400 years but we seldom see our resilience to not only survive, but we were inventors        (Thomas Jennings inventor of dry cleaning), and the builders of the United States.  Our

people experienced and survived the worst system of enslavement on the planet.  The 400      years of mental, physical, and sexual abuse did not turn us into the monsters who

committed these heinous crimes against us.  Our spirituality has prevented us from doing        to them what they did to us.  Sadly, we have far too frequently, turned on each other and        have not helped each other to heal from our traumas. Juneteenth must be a celebration of      our resilience.  We survived against all odds and intentions.  We must learn our history            before we were abducted from our homes in Africa.  We must learn that we had advanced        civilizations in Africa over 200,000 years ago.  We built the pyramids, we were the first            engineers (Narmer Menes was a hydro-engineer who altered the course of the Nile),                physicians, chemists, architects, mathematicians, and astronomers (Imhotep mastered            these areas and built the first step pyramid). We must celebrate our greatness and share it      with the world!

     How can we celebrate Juneteenth?  Get together with family and friends and share            healthy foods. Share recipes and learn how to cook family favorites in healthy ways.  Write      a family cookbook or a family history that includes a family tree, recipes, family sayings,          and accomplishments.  Talk about the challenges in the family and how you have coped.          Learn Black history from ancient times to the present (See some recommendations below).      Learn your family history.  Discuss ways to create an individual or family business and            make it happen!  Explore who you are and be courageous enough to seek professional            support from the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists. 





















                                                                1905 Richmond Virginia Juneteenth Celebration

Barashango, I. (1983). Afrikan people and European holidays: A mental genocide. Washington, D.C. IVth

Dynasty Publishing Company.

Chapman-Hilliard, C., Adams-Bass, V. (2016).  A conceptual framework for utilizing Black history knowledge as a      path to psychological liberation for Black youth.  Journal of Black Psychology, Vol 42(6) 479-507.

Gooden, A. C. (2015). Check this out: A brief look at world mysteries and rarely told histories. North America           International, Trafford Publishing.

Imhotep, D. (2012). The First Americans Were Africans.  AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN 47403.

Kush, I.K. (1983).  What they never told you in history class.  Laurelton, NY:  D and J Book Distributors, Inc.

Robinson, C.R.; Battle, R.; Robinson, E.W. The journey of the Songhai People.

Rogers, J.A. (1940).  Your history from the beginning of time to the present.  Baltimore, MD:  Black Classic Press. 

                Harambee!  Harambee!  Harambee! (Let us all pull together).

          Hotep (Peace and Blessings)- Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, LLC










                                   Guest Contributor: Ophera A. Davis, Ph.D. 
Get ready for the 2021 season:
Lessons from Hurricane Katrina Mississippi Black Women Survivors 



Everything starts in Africa including most hurricanes formed in the warm Atlantic Ocean            waters that eventually reach the United States. This article will: Discuss the upcoming hurricane      season and it will give you practical suggestions on how to keep your family safe during                  hurricanes based on lessons learned from Mississippi Black women Hurricane Katrina survivors.


On June 1st every year, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the National Oceanic              Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issue projections for the upcoming season which        continues through the summer and ends on November 30th. There are usually 21 named storms    each year. But, since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the number of storms has risen                  exponentially. Since hurricane seasons have become overactive the NHC has made changes for      2021, several of which are notable. First, you can expect hurricane season to begin earlier in the    coming years. The proposed start date is May 15th - two weeks earlier – because of the activity    in the Atlantic Ocean.  Last year, there were over 14 hurricanes, and that had not happened          since Hurricane Katrina. Most scientists associate this increase with climate change.  


Second, since last year’s overactive hurricane season totaled 30 named storms, including the 14 hurricanes, the NHC resorted to a pattern they have followed since 1953 which was to use the Greek alphabet when they run out of names. Because of the confusion the Greek alphabet

caused across the globe last year, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provided a supplemental list for Atlantic tropical storms going forward, in lieu of Greek names. This change

is culturally significant and will make it easier for the average person to recognize storm names without having to associate them with a European language that most people do not speak.

What’s more, the supplemental list of storms alternates between female and male monikers and includes gender-neutral and ethnic names (the main and supplemental lists are below).













So, now what can you do to keep your family and friends safe during hurricanes. My work, a      longitudinal study on Hurricane Katrina Mississippi women survivors, provides suggestions that worked. 

In 2005, the worst natural disaster in American history, Hurricane Katrina, flooded the city of

New Orleans and demolished the infrastructure on the Mississippi Coastline. I started what is 

now a 15-year longitudinal study with Mississippi Black women survivors. The women’s survival stories are remarkable and the lessons they learned can help to keep you and your

loved ones safe too. Along with their words are official suggestions from the NHC and NOAA to

help you get ready before a hurricane:

    >Watch the news and weather when you are in a coastal region to stay alert of the possibility        of tropical storms or hurricane advisory notices 

    >Pack a hurricane emergency kit




Get your home prepared for the storm by stocking your home with water, non-perishable          food, batteries, a flashlight, a first aid kit, warm clothes, a blanket, cutlery, paper plates. Also,        get extra cash because electricity may be out and you won’t be able to use credit cards, place        your valuable paperwork such as home, auto, and life insurance, wills, and prescriptions in a          waterproof box. Remember to pack comfort food such as chocolate, books, and items for kids      and for your pets, etc.). Get the emergency kit packed early because once a storm emerges            time works against you. In the era of COVID-19 be sure to pack extra masks and gloves. Ellen        said, “Over the years, my husband and I have boarded up several homes on the Coast when a      storm was forecasted”.

    >Create an evaluation plan and share the plan with your family (include a text tree)

    Jeannette commented, “We have always evacuated when there was a threat of a Category 3

    or higher hurricane in the region”.

    >Know the evacuation route in your state, region, or city. You can find that information at the        CDC website below.

Mary said, “I have an alternative route other than Highway 49 to leave the coast to go home [Batesville] because I am from north Mississippi”. Since Katrina, there are evaluation signs like

the image below, in every coastal city in America to guide people to safety. Don’t ignore

evaluation orders. Don’t wait, leave early.





Catherine told me as Katrina approached, “We got in the car and got to the highway 10            exit, and we were like, “where can we go?”

    >Returning home safely after the hurricane is very important because many people are

    injured or killed after a disaster because of the storm's damage to the region, such as down            electrical wires, gas lines, glass, fallen trees, or many other hazards.

Betty said, “I remember running down the street on top of boards, refrigerators, and whatever - trying to find the house. Then my husband said to me, “ STOP! STOP!-there may be nails”.

    >Never drive into flooded streets; don’t drown-just turn around.

    >Don’t drink tap water until officials say that it is safe to do so. Boil the water or drink

    bottled water.

Laura had this to say, “My neighbor had a working water well on his property and he provided        water for our street to flush the toilets every evening until the utility company turned the water      back on”.


To close, this piece provided you basic information about the 2021 hurricane season and            the names of possible storms. In addition, it included best practices to mitigate danger to keep      you and your family safe after hurricanes. Lastly, you received sage advice from Hurricane              Katrina Black Mississippi Women survivors about the ways in which they successfully navigated      the disaster in 2005. Provided below are a few helpful links as the 2021 Hurricane Season              approaches. If you have other questions, feel free to reach out to me.




Dr. Ophera A. Davis is from the Mississippi Delta. She is a disaster expert, interdisciplinary

social scientist, and 20-year affiliate faculty member at colleges in Boston and Virginia.  Her

book, Overlooked Voices:  Hurricane Katrina Mississippi Black Women Survivors Resilience and Recovery, a 15-year longitudinal study will be released August 2021.  Dr. Davis is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and a founding partner of Hampton Roads Champions for Social Justice. Contact Dr. Davis at or 617-454-4438 or





                                      OF BLACKS AND NATIVE AMERICANS

                                                                          By Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC

    You do not need to watch a monster movie to see fake monsters when you can see real     monsters by reading history and watching the news.  This is the 100th anniversary of the         massacre of over 3,000 Black millionaires in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the city of Greenwood           which started on May 30 and lasted until June 1, 1921.  It also marks the first time a bomb     was dropped on a city, Greenwood, in the United States.  The GAP Band who was from           Greenwood, sings about it, "You Dropped a Bomb on Me!'' Tulsa or Greenwood was known       as “Black Wall Street” because Blacks utilized a simple principle to build wealth-buy Black!       Over 6,000 Blacks were displaced and were unable to collect on any insurance claims to           rebuild their homes and businesses because racist whites labeled the event as a “riot.” The     Black millionaires owned an airport with several airplanes, banks, movies, libraries,               schools, and numerous other businesses. Black men, women, children, and babies were           raped, beaten to death, shot, burned alive, hung, and dragged to death by racist whites.         The massacre was initiated by racist whites who envied the financial success of Blacks           because they had been taught since birth, that all whites are superior to all Blacks.  Seeing     Blacks who were millionaires created such rage in the racist whites that they used a white     female to incite the massacre. 


      A white female elevator operator screamed when a Black young man tripped upon            entering the elevator, falling on her.  Racist whites said he was trying to rape her.   He was      locked up and when they could not storm the jail and hang him because armed Blacks

were protecting him, they took to burning Black businesses and homes.  They dropped

bombs from planes to ensure the complete decimation of the city and thousands of Blacks.      Monsters massacred these Black people and not one white person was charged but Blacks      were convicted and imprisoned for fighting to protect themselves, their family and                  community. This was not the only massacre going on at that time by racist whites.  From        1910 until around 1930’s, the Osage People in Tulsa, Oklahoma had found oil on their land      and became multi-millionaires overnight.









    Racist whites began marrying the Osage and having children by them because they

could not buy the land from them.  In what was a mystery for over two decades, the Native    People were dying-men, women, children, and babies leaving their wealth to their white          family member.  Laws were created stating that no full-blooded Osage could control their        money.  They had to have a white guardian and these guardians were also murdering their      wards. Herbert Hoover sent a man to investigate the murders and the investigation was the    beginning of the FBI.  Who would marry someone and murder their spouse?  Who would        have children and murder them?  Monsters!  Racist whites who do not view Blacks or Native  Americans as people did not see the murder of the Osage or Blacks as a crime.  Entire            white towns participated in the massacres and not one white person was charged or              imprisoned.  Things have not changed much since the 1920’s.  There are some good white    people but how do we distinguish from the monsters who pretend to like you or love you,        marry you and have children by you to gain your wealth?  Look at what people do and don’t    just believe what they say.

Grann, D. (2017). Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. Doubleday.




                                                 AUTHOR'S CORNER







                                                RuNett Nia Ebo


RuNett Nia Ebo, Poet of Purpose is a poet/author, editor, playwright, blogger, and events        planner. She has been writing poems for more than 50 years and has self-published 9

books of poetry and 1 CD of Spoken Word. Poet Ebo has written a fiction story (All For You -    AuthorHouse) and several gospel songs. She is a contributing author to 'Chicken Soup for      the African American Soul' and 'Chicken Soup for the African American Woman's Soul' and    Kwee magazine (a Liberian publication).  Following is her poem  "Lord, Why Did You Make      Me Black?"  Thank you Dr. Faruq Iman for sharing her work with us.


     Lord, Lord,
     Why did You make me Black?
     Why did You make me someone
     The world wants to hold back?

     Black is the color of dirty clothes;
     The color of grimy hands and feet.
     Black is the color of darkness;
     The color of tire-beaten streets.

     Why did you give me thick lips,
     A broad nose and kinky hair?
     Why did You make me someone
     Who receives the hatred stare?

     Black is the color of a bruised eye
     When somebody gets hurt.
     Black is the color of darkness.
     Black is the color of dirt.
     How come my bone structure’s so thick;
     my hips and cheeks are high?
     How come my eyes are brown
     and not the color of the daylight sky?

     Why do people think I’m useless?
     How come I feel so used?
     Why do some people see my skin and think I should be abused?

     Lord, I just don’t understand;
     What is it about my skin?
     Why do some people want to hate me
     And not know the person within?

     Black is what people are “listed”,
     When others want to keep them away.
     Black is the color of shadows cast.
     Black is the end of the day.

     Lord, You know, my own people mistreat me;
     And I know this just isn’t right.
     They don’t like my hair or the way I look
     They say I’m too dark or too light.

     Lord, Don’t You think it’s time
     For You to make a change?
     Why don’t You re-do creation
     And make everyone the same?


     (God answered)

     Why did I make you black?
     Why did I make you black?

     Get off your knees and look around.
     Tell Me, what do you see?
     I didn’t make you in the image of darkness.
     I made you in the Likeness of ME!

     I made you the color of coal
     From which beautiful diamonds are formed.
     I made you the color of oil,
     The black-gold that keeps people warm.

     I made you from the rich, dark earth
     That can grow the food you need.
     Your color’s the same as the panther’s
     Known for (HER) beauty and speed.

     Your color’s the same as the Black stallion,
     A majestic animal is he.
     I didn’t make you in the Image of darkness
     I made you in the Likeness of Me!

     All the colors of a Heavenly Rainbow
     Can be found throughout every nation;
     And when all those colors were blended well,

     Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool
     Such a humble, little creature is he.
     I am the Shepherd who watches them.
     I am the One who will watch over thee.

     You are the color of midnight-sky,
     I put the stars’ glitter in your eyes.
     There’s a smile hidden behind your pain
     That’s the reason your cheeks are high.

     You are the color of dark clouds formed
     when I send My strongest weather.
     I made your lips full so when you kiss
     the one you love they will remember.

     Your stature is strong; your bone structure, thick
     to withstand the burdens of time.
     The reflection you see in the mirror…
     The Image looking back at you is MINE!










                         To learn more about RuNett Nia Ebo's writings visit

                           RuNett Nia Ebo, Poet of Purpose (











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           Visit for updates and more information.
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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 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     at
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