Black Psychology

Topics: Psychology, Race and Ethnicity, Thought Pages: 2 (620 words) Published: June 22, 2013
Briana Pearson

After reading all of the articles pertaining to black psychology I was somewhat annoyed honestly to even discover that so many people have spent so much time trying to analyze the differences between races psychologically or in any other way. I know for certain that the actual functions of the human brain do not differ from race to race. The only real differences between races are aesthetic differences. Wade and Tavris (2011) define psychology as, “the discipline concerned with behavior and mental processes and how they are affected by an organism’s physical state, mental state, and external environment” (p. 4). With that definition on the table I do not think it is necessary to dissect psychology into specializations or categories based on aesthetic differences but rather based on ones personal experience. Most of the writing did too much generalizing based on race. It is impossible to say that because you are African American this is what your experience has been in America and this is what will shape your behavior. Yet this was the contention and assumption that was held throughout these works of literature. I would refute that because it is certainly possible for two people to experience the same thing and internalize it quite differently. As an example my brother and I grew up in the same house were raised by the same parents taught the same set of values, yet we view the world very differently. This is because we are individual people with individual psyches. It is undeniable that the African American has had disparate beginnings in this country and that it is still a struggle we face. I am not disputing that at all. What I am questioning is the need to further separate human beings into categories. I think that does a disservice to all of humanity; it teaches us that there is a need to use aesthetic differences to categorize people. I happen to agree with Kardiner and Ovesey (1951), “the experience of...
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