Black Male Grief Through the Lens of Racialization and Oppression: Effective Instruction for Graduate Clinical Programs

Allen E. Lipscomb, Wendy Ashley


Although Black males have experienced mental health challenges analogous to other marginalized populations, Black men dealing with loss and trauma have a greater risk of experiencing severe mental health challenges than their White counterparts due to racism, classism, economic inequalities and socio-political injustices in existence since slavery. Although slavery was legally abolished in the United States in 1865, the legacy of slavery continues via systemic oppression, historical trauma and race based economic inequality. Thus, Black males’ lived experience is entrenched with elements of psychological, historical, interpersonal, and intrapsychic anguish. Black men experience grief from multiple avenues, including loss, trauma and the psychological impact of oppression. The authors explored the grief experiences of Racialized Black Men (N = 77) to identify the needs and challenges of this vulnerable population. Utilizing a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens, recommendations are provided to educate mental health therapists both in graduate programs and as practitioners in the field regarding anti-oppressive clinical practices. Finally, effective clinical intervention practices are explored, with specific strategies for White and non-White therapists when working with this unique and often underserved population in the United States.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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