October 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.
DeBorah Gilbert White, Ph.D.- Editor
Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden
Delaware Valley Association
of Black Psychologists
WHY ARE SO MANY WHITES AFRAID OF CRITICAL RACE THEORY?
The term “critical race theory” was coined by a Black woman, Kimberle Crenshaw, who
is an attorney and a legal scholar but Derrick Bell, who was the first tenured Black
professor of Law at Harvard University has been considered the originator of critical race theory (CRT). According to CRT, the perpetual social injustices that Melanics
(People of Color) experience are due to a system of institutional racism that created legal
and other institutional policies specifically designed to maintain racism. Racism is defined
as prejudice against Melanics with the power to enforce racial discrimination. It is these racially discriminatory systems that have prevented or minimized the opportunities for Melanics to succeed financially, educationally, politically, and socially. CRT was not originally designed to address individuals or the psychological impact of racism. Nevertheless, it is necessary to understand the psychological characteristics of people who created such an immoral/unethical system that gives whites/Caucasians undeserved privileges while dehumanizing everyone else.
Caucasians/whites built into the system of institutional racism, the unstated/unwritten
rule that Caucasians/whites cannot be guilty of any crimes against Melanics. Racist
practices were built into the structure of the legal system by Caucasians/whites creating
the laws, Caucasians/whites serving as the police, lawyers, judges, district attorneys, and juries. Melanics were subjected to the whims of Caucasians/whites who usually felt that Melanics did not deserve justice but instead projected the worst characteristics of Caucasians/whites onto Melanics to rationalize the severe punishments the
Caucasians/whites decided to administer. The educational system presented all accomplishments as uniquely Caucasian/white and refused to infuse the accomplishments
of Melanics to every subject area. Melanic accomplishments were inaccurately attributed
to Caucasians/whites such as the pyramids which were built by Blacks or lacrosse created
by Indigenous People. Caucasian/white mass murderers such as Christopher Columbus
(Who never stepped foot in North, Central or South America.) who murdered
over 8 million Taino People on what is now called Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and
Cecil B. Rhodes (The Rhodes Scholarship is named for this murderer of over 100 million Africans in South Africa). People are led to believe that the first Blacks in North, Central
and South America were enslaved people when there is proof that the first Blacks were in North, Central, and South America over 40 thousand years ago (Imhotep, 2020) followed
by Asians. Caucasians/whites were the last racial group to come to these lands and
arrived with the intention of an invader to take what they wanted and to eliminate anyone
who was in their way.
Melanic psychologists, Melanic social workers, and other Melanic mental health professionals have the responsibility of analyzing the causes of racism, healing those who
are traumatized by racism, and eradicating racism. CRT is an examination of the institutionalized unethical behaviors of Caucasians/whites who engage in racist behaviors
that are supported by the legal system. Caucasians/whites have been able to write their narratives and the narratives of Melanics for the past 500 years. The narratives written by Caucasians/whites are filled with propaganda designed to make Caucasians/whites look
good, righteous, brilliant, and just. The truth is that this country and successful Caucasian/white countries have become powerful and successful from stealing lands and resources from Melanics. Melanics were forced to work until they dropped dead to assist
these racist Caucasians/whites to acquire the resources and land that racist Caucasians/
whites brag belong to them. Their thievery and mass murders were sanctioned by the
laws they created (Doctrine of Discovery) to justify them committing the worst atrocities
the world has ever known. These same racist Caucasians/whites must avoid the truth
to maintain their distorted beliefs about themselves as being perfect and therefore superior. Preventing CRT and preventing culturally accurate information also protects the fragile
egos of racist Caucasians/whites who must denigrate and violate Melanics to begin feeling adequate or worthy. Racist Caucasians/whites have deep-seated feelings of inferiority and inadequacy that are disguised by engaging in immoral acts against Melanics. Racist Caucasians/whites know that their offenses against Melanics will go unpunished (such as
the Ku Klux Klan) and many Melanics know they are unprotected against them (such as the Black Panther Party).
Racism continues to be the most pervasive, pandemic in the world. Racism endures and continues to grow because there is a refusal to mandate that everyone learns the truth
about racism, the forms of racism, the accomplishments of Melanics, and the atrocities of racist Caucasians/whites. All Caucasians/whites are not afraid of CRT. Racist Caucasians/whites are afraid of CRT and the truth because they benefit from lies, negative stereotypes, racist propaganda, unethical laws/policies, and violent behaviors lodged
against Melanics. Racist Caucasians/whites also fear that if Melanics learn the real truth
and become empowered, Melanics will do to Caucasians/whites what Caucasians/whites
have been doing to us. Law must be enforced fairly which will require more Melanic
lawyers, judges, district attorneys, police, politicians, educators, psychologists, TV personalities, movies, research, and Melanics in every other aspect of society. We must become active on school boards, vote during presidential elections and non-presidential elections. We must run for elected positions and groom our people to take these political positions. As Black psychologists, Black social workers, and mental health professionals,
we must learn about racism and help to heal those affected by it. Learn about CRT, learn
your true history, and ask the following questions of others, “How do you benefit from
racism? What are you doing to end racism?”
Alexander, M. (2012). The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York, NY. The New Press.
Burt, Jr., M. (1989). Black Inventors of America. Portland, OR: National Book Company.
DeGruy, J. (2005). Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, Joy DeGruy Publications, Publications.
Fuller, Jr. N. (1984). The United Independent Compensatory Code System Concept a textbook/workbook for Thought, Speech and/or Action and/or Action for Victims of Racism
Gooden, A. C. (2015). Check this out. North America & International, Trafford Publishing.
Grann, D. (2017). Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. Doubleday.
Imhotep, D. (2012). The First Americans Were Africans. AuthorHouse, Bloomington, IN 47403.
Jairazbhoy, R.A. (1992). Rameses III Father of Ancient America. Chicago, IL. Frontline International.
James, G.G.M. (1954). Stolen legacy the Greeks were not the authors of Greek philosophy,
but the people of North Africa commonly called the Egyptians. San Francisco, CA: Julian Richardson Associates.
Kush, I.K. (1983). What they never told you in history class. Laurelton, NY: D and J Book Distributors, Inc.
Washington, H.A., (2006). Medical Apartheid: The medical history of medical experimentation
on Black Americans from colonial times to the present. Anchor Books.
Harambee! Harambee! Harambee! (Let us all pull together).
Hotep (Peace and Blessings)- Ayo Maria Gooden, Ph.D., ABPBC, LLC
Guest Contributor- Colmon "Cole" Holmes, M.ED
Letter To Philadelphia City Council Emergency Committee Hearing
On Neighborhood Gun Violence - Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, Chair
Good Afternoon, I am Colmon Holmes, Chair of the Community Outreach Committee
of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists (DVABPsiorg@gmail.com). On
behalf of our president, Dr. Ayo Maria Gooden, and our regional representative Dr. Faruq
Iman, we wish to express our gratitude to you, Councilman Johnson, and to your
colleagues for convening this special emergency hearing on the gun violence that is
terrorizing and traumatizing Black people in this city and impeding our community's
which has chapters in Africa and the Caribbean, as well. The Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists is composed of professionals from Southeastern Pennsylvania,
Southern New Jersey, and Delaware. Our members include not only psychologists but
experts from other behavioral health fields such as clinical social workers and substance
abuse counselors. We are dedicated to providing evidence-based, culturally appropriate emotional healing strategies that address the many psychological challenges that inhibit
the optimal functioning of Black people individually and collectively. Additionally, many of
our members teach and mentor Black university students majoring in the field of
psychology. The fratricidal gun violence we now witness is the predictable culmination of hundreds of years of physical, economic, educational, emotional and other psycho-social violence heaped upon Black people in this city (and nationwide) by many members of the White population and the institutions they control.
Most Black Philadelphians are forced to tolerate miseducating, culturally inappropriate, failed schools, unemployment and underemployment, exclusion from business opportun-
ities, an unjust criminal justice system, brutalization and murder by racist police,
self-esteem and race esteem destroying entertainment and news media and an externally manipulated, highly seductive youth culture that glorifies and promotes toxic masculinity, violence, misogyny, drug use, instant hedonistic gratification, excessive materialism,
emotional dysregulation, and disregard for spirituality and emotionally healthy family formations. These devastating factors do not excuse the gun violence committed by less
than 1% of all Black people against other Black people in this city, but they do shine a
bright light on the institutional racism generated psycho-social violence (economically and emotionally devastating to many) that pushes some over the edge of rational, empathetic behavior.
Unfortunately, but predictively, a large percentage of us who do not commit gun
violence suffer disproportionately worse physical and emotional health outcomes in this city. The violence of externally imposed, generational poverty and racist physical and emotional damage to Black people must be eliminated, once and for all, if we are serious about ending this very visible, tip of the iceberg, heart-wrenching, toxically traumatizing carnage. The far-reaching, devastating damage of deeply entrenched institutional racism
and false White supremacist indoctrination can only be repaired by the government and corporate sectors- which created and nourished/nourishes this human devastation-through
the massive investment of financial resources and White societal commitment to
far-reaching, permanent change. This is not presented as an argument against parental
and personal responsibility. However, some in our community have been so devastated by oppressive conditions (the 1% perpetuating the gun violence and others exhibiting social
and self-destructive behaviors) that we must take action to save our children, ourselves
and ultimately, the future of this city.
Ineffective, poorly funded band-aid efforts are not working and will never work!
If this epidemic of gun violence was affecting the White population of this city, it would be viewed as a public health emergency and no amount of money or other resources would be spared to protect lives. We remind you of the compassionate commitment of resources
today with regards to the opioid epidemic affecting so many White citizens. The dedicated investment of resources for White drug addiction stands in stark contrast to the racist, unenlightened, criminal mis-justice approach used when crack was viewed as a Black community problem!
Therefore, we strongly urge that our City government declare a Public Health
Emergency due to the epidemic of gun violence in our community and the epidemic of
racism generated poverty and disproportionately worse health outcomes in the Black community (social/emotional determinants of health). We further urge that this Public
Health Emergency be accompanied by a commitment of at least 600 million dollars
(as others from the Black community have proposed to this Council) to begin the process
of effectively addressing this crisis. These funds might be raised through the issuance of a Social Impact Municipal Bond- also previously proposed by others and/or the appropriately higher taxation of corporate and university real estate holdings in our City.
We recommend the funding of our City's Violence Prevention Department at a level that
will permit the hiring of hundreds of Black, well-trained, living wage paid,
culturally-grounded peer counselors/and other Black professionals who can provide
culturally-responsive services. These individuals must be well trained in conflict resolution, social media monitoring/utilization, social/mental health services, and educational/employment/business development advising. Services must include the
Free, culturally-responsive, trauma-informed group, couple, family, and individual therapeutic counseling services in community settings, to include telehealth (with encrypted providers such as Doximity), mobile van units, etc.
Provision of thousands of living wage jobs and paid job training through government
(local, state, and federal), corporate, and higher education contributions from
endowment funds, property taxation and marijuana sales.
Provision of business development grants and business training to bring the percentage
of Black prosperous business in Philadelphia to no less than 50% in 5 years and at least 75% in 10 years.
Hiring hundreds of culturally-responsive, trauma-informed Black people as staff
(including teachers and teachers' aids) in every public and charter school in
Philadelphia so that the percentage of Black children in each school equals the
percentage of Black teachers in the classrooms who also serve as role models.
Immediately implement the teaching of accurate Black (African, South American,
African- American and Blacks throughout the diaspora) history in all grade levels of
public and charter schools and use as a principle textbook the educational text, African American History: Journey of Liberation, 2nd Edition, co-authored by Dr. Edward
Robinson and Dr. Molefe Asante. We understand that this textbook was commissioned
by the School District of Philadelphia and paid for with public funds. (A study of the
effects of including African and African- American history in a public high school
curriculum was conducted at Benjamin Franklin High School by Temple University Professor, Thad Mathis and his graduate students. This study showed a dramatic
increase in grades achieved by the students and impressive attendance/behavioral improvements as well. The Baseline Essays from Portland, Oregon by Dr. Asa Hilliard
must also be utilized to provide the beginning of accurate information about then contributions other Melanics (People of Color including Native People, Latinx, Asians,
School buildings, recreation centers, and mobile vans must be used as sites of one stop hubs for social/mental health services. Simplified applications and expedited service delivery time frames must be established.
The Philadelphia Police contract must be amended/redrawn to eliminate any clauses
that permit return to service any officers found guilty of brutality by a committee consisting of police officer peers, supervisors and an equal number of Black community representatives including Black mental health experts from the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists, the National Association of Black Social Workers,etc.
We recognize that the majority of our police officers are dedicated, competent and compassionate public servants, who must demonstrate their willingness to enhance
their awareness of cultural information by completing annual cultural competency
training provided by the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists, National Association of Black Social Workers, National Association of Black Educators, the Association of Classical African Civilizations, etc. We urge these good officers to work
with the administration to identify fellow officers who dishonor their oaths and our community so that they can receive appropriate psychological assessments and
counseling to address their racial biases.
We urge the administration of our Philadelphia Police Department to legally and with respect for the rights of all, double the rate of solving homicides from the current disappointing rate of 37% to at least 74%.
Eliminate qualified immunity
The removal of Black people from our communities by direct and indirect tax funded gentrification must stop immediately. City, corporate and foundation funded,
low-interest mortgages and grants must be made with fairer qualification guidelines to thousands of Black people who have been historically and unjustly excluded from home ownership or given extremely high interest rates. •Thousands of new, affordable
housing units must be built or rehabbed during the next 3 years.
Blacks must be trained to serve as home appraisers to avoid racist White home
appraisers undervaluing property owned by Blacks or overpricing homes sought by
We repeat, poorly funded, band-aid measures can never repair the toxic distress and trauma from which our people suffer with varying degrees of psychological adjustment to
an insanely evil, institutionally racist system of genocide. Our use of the term genocide is in incompliance with the legal definition provided by the United Nations Convention For The Prevention and Punishment of Crimes of Genocide. Councilman Johnson, we hear your
outrage and your heartfelt sense of urgency. We hear the same from your honorable colleagues. We share your frustration regarding the relatively small amount of money committed to this citywide crisis. Infusing the 600 million into Black employment and
services will give a boost to the Philadelphia economy. Once again, Councilman, we urge
your legislative body to do the right thing and find the money from whatever source is necessary to repair this festering damage to humanity in our midst. Stopping drug abuse
and gun violence are inextricably linked to providing adequate wages to people that permit them to obtain safe affordable housing in safe neighborhoods, adequate healthy foods, culturally-responsive mental/physical health care, education that incorporates the accomplishments of Blacks and other Melanics (People of Color) in every field of study, and
a police force that values the lives of Blacks and other Melanics.
We stand ready to work with you and this council as you help bring about the necessary
repair to Black people injured for many generations by our City's complicity with systemic racism and the toxic trauma symptoms (drug abuse, gun violence, domestic abuse, police brutality, etc.) that are now glaringly obvious.
Colmon "Cole" Holmes, M.Ed., chairs the Community Outreach Committee of the Delaware
Valley Association of Black Psychologists. He is a retired administrator of educational support programs at Temple University where he was a co-founder of the Afro-Asian Institute, now
known as the Department of Africology and African American Studies. For two decades
Mr. Holmes was a talk show host on radio station WDAS in Philadelphia. He is a member of the Immigration Committee of the Philadelphia Mayor's Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs. Colmon Holmes currently serves as co-chair of the Southeastern
Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's Disabled Access Committee (SAC) and as co-chair of
the Northwest Philadelphia Chapter of the American Association of Retired People (AARP).
Featured Psychologists: Drs. Mamie Clark and Kenneth Clark
Social Psychologists Who Made A Difference
Mamie Phipps Clark was born in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1917 (Butler, 2009) and Kenneth
Clark was born in 1914 and raised in Harlem, N.Y. (Martin, 1994). Both obtained their bachelor's and master's degrees from Howard University. Influenced by her work with
children in an all-black nursery school, Mamie decided to conduct her master’s thesis, "The Development of Consciousness of Self in Negro Pre-School Children" (Butler, 2009). Not
long after, she met her soon-to-be husband, Kenneth Clark, who partnered with her to
extend her thesis research on self-identification in black children. This work was later developed into the famous doll experiments that exposed internalized racism and the
negative effects of segregation for African-American children (Butler, 2009). The Clarks
were the first African-Americans to obtain their doctoral degrees in psychology from
Columbia University. Kenneth Clark was the First African-American tenured full professor at the City College of New York, the first African-American to be president of the American Psychological Association, and the first African-American appointed to the New York State Board of Regents (Martin, 1994).
The Clarks opened their own agency in 1946 called the Northside Center for Child Development. This was the first full-time child guidance center offering psychological and casework services to families in the Harlem area. There they also continued conducting experiments on racial biases in education (Butler, 2009). The Clarks were influential to the Civil Rights movement and their expertise allowed them to testify as expert witnesses in several school desegregation cases, including Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954
(Martin, 1994). Outside of their research and applied contributions, they both served in
the community and on committees to make a difference. Mamie Clark passed in 1983 at
age 66, leaving behind two children, and Kenneth Clark, later passed in 2005 at age 91 (Butler, 2009). Both made significant contributions to the field of psychology and to the
social movement of their time.
Martin, J. (1994). Clark, Kenneth B. 1914–. Contemporary Black Biography. Retrieved Jan. 25, 2012.
Butler, S. (2009). Mamie Katherine Phipps Clark (1917–1983). The Encyclopedia of Arkansas History
& Culture. Retrieved Jan. 25, 2012.
(Adaptation -Originally printed by the American Psychological Association, 2012)
Ophera A. Davis, Ph.D.
The Overlooked Voices of Hurrican Katrina:
The Resilience and Recovery of Mississippi Black Women
Dr. Ophera A. Davis is a member of the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists and serves on its Public Relations Committee. Her new book brings awareness to the experiences of female Hurricane Katrina survivors through
narrative theory which empowers the women to tell their stories and strategies of survival and recovery over the years in their own words. To obtain your copy of
this powerful and compelling book visit https://opheraadavis.com.
The Black Health Trust presents every Sunday 12:00 pm PDT/3:00 EDT
Visit https://www.blackhealthtrust.org/ for updates and more information.