“We who are dark . . .:” The Black community according to Black adults in America: an exploratory content analysis

From Journal of Black Psychology

This paper compiles exploratory content analysis around the meaning of the Black community. The study used a sample of 60 Black adults in the mid-Atlantic United States examining responses to a single open-ended survey. From the survey 11 themes emerged around the meaning of the Black community: the Black community as cultural, the Black community as residential, the Black community as global, the Black community as supportive, the Black community as visibly distinctive, the Black community as socioeconomic, the Black community as nonactualized, the Black community as nondifferential, the Black community as nihilistic, the Black community as nondefinable, and the Black community as other. The complex forms and functions of the Black community are outlined, as well as more about the social forces involved in its mental constructions. The findings have important implications for mental health programs and policies designed for Black adults in America, and at the same time, they spawn a new set of questions to be answered. Results suggest it is important to continue to ask and seek answers to these seemingly basic questions if we are going to be responsive most effectively to the mental health needs of “we who are dark”.

Abstract

The author explored the meaning of the Black community according to a purposeful sample of 60 Black adults in the mid-Atlantic United States. Purposeful stratified sampling resulted in equal numbers of participants along the lines of locale (Brooklyn, New York; Wilmington, Delaware; and Washington, D.C.), gender, and generational affiliation (older adults, middle-aged adults, and young adults). Content analysis of responses to a single open-ended survey question resulted in 11 emergent themes around the meaning of the Black community: the Black community as cultural, the Black community as residential, the Black community as global, the Black community as supportive, the Black community as visibly distinctive, the Black community as socioeconomic, the Black community as nonactualized, the Black community as nondifferential, the Black community as nihilistic, the Black community as nondefinable, and the Black community as other. Gender and generational variations in thematic endorsement were analyzed, and implications of these findings as they pertain to research, mental health programs, and policies for Blacks are discussed.

Read this research for free

Article details
Grayman, N. (2009). “We Who Are Dark . . .:” The Black Community According to Black Adults in America: An Exploratory Content Analysis Journal of Black Psychology, 35 (4), 433-455 DOI: 10.1177/0095798408329943

     
This entry was posted in Psychology, SAGE Insight and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.