Hands Up, Now What?: Black Families’ Reactions to Racial Socialization Interventions

Riana Elyse Anderson, Isha Metzger, Kimberly Applewhite, Broderick Sawyer, William Jackson, Santos Flores, Amber Majors, Monique Chanel McKenny, Robert Carter


Given the heightened national attention to negative race-related issues and the subsequent community solution-oriented outcry (e.g., Black Lives Matter movement), it is crucial to address healing from racial discrimination for Black Americans. Clinical and community psychologists have responded by developing and implementing programs that focus on racial socialization and psychological wellness, particularly given disproportionate issues with utilization, access, and the provision of quality services within urban and predominantly Black communities. The aim of this article is to describe 2 applied programs (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race and Family Learning Villages), which seek to address and heal racial stress through crucial proximal systems—families and schools—and to highlight participant reactions. These programs offer solutions through strengths-based and participatory approaches which draw from Black Americans’ own protective mechanisms related to improved mental health. We conclude with a discussion on practice, assessments, and models specific to racial stress for researchers, practitioners, and consumers of mental health services.


racial discrimination; racial stress and trauma; coping; racial socialization; interventions

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.755

Copyright (c) 2020 Riana Elyse Anderson, Isha Metzger, Kimberly Applewhite, Broderick Sawyer, William Jackson, Santos Flores, Amber Majors, Monique Chanel McKenny, Robert Carter

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