Psychology from the Margins


The stories and experiences of marginalized groups are rarely heard and given the attention they deserve, so the purpose of this article is to analyze the history of the African American community and the treatment they have received from the mental health profession. The article takes an in depth look into the journey of the Black community beginning with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and ending with the current sociocultural climate of present day society. This journey through the history of the African American community reveals generational scars that are still very prevalent within the community and the obstacles they continue to face when trying to access adequate and competent mental health services. In addition, the article highlights the uncomfortable truths of American history and how those outdated prejudiced views still impact the quality of care the Balck community receives. Through the examination of how slavery, reconstruction, black codes, and Jim Crow influenced the thinking of mental health professionals, we emphasize the importance of knowing the history in order to learn from the past and bring awareness to the racial bias that still exist within the mental health field. Progress has been made to remedy the relationship between the African American community and mental health services but there is still a lot of need for improvement. This article aims to galvanize the psychological community in making meaningful and lasting change in improving the care offered to the Black community.



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