ABPsi Executive Director
(BLACK PR WIRE) – Pointing to the verdict in the Jordan Davis case and widespread concern about the continued devaluing of the lives of Black children, the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) and Community Healing Network, Inc. (CHN) today called on the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to schedule public hearings on the continuing effects of the lie of Black inferiority and ways to eradicate it.
In a letter to Caucus Chairwoman, Marcia L. Fudge, CHN and ABPsi noted that this week, on February 20, the European Parliament is holding a hearing on “Afrophobia,” and urged the CBC to hold similar proceedings. CHN and ABPsi said that the use of the term “Afrophobia” draws attention to the “fear, hostility, and discrimination that are all too often directed at people of African descent. In calling for Congressional hearings on the present-day effects of the lie of Black inferiority, we seek to illuminate the underlying causes of Afrophobia.”
CHN and ABPsi called for an immediate scheduling of hearings and offered to help the CBC by identifying experts and resources.
The letter to the CBC is an outgrowth of a collaboration between CHN and ABPsi that is engaging increasing numbers of Black mental health professionals and other activists to help Black people overcome the lie of Black inferiority and the emotional legacies of enslavement and racism.
According to Enola Aird, president of CHN, “Negative stereotypes, based on the lie of Black inferiority, are literally killing Black children, and we must address the root causes of these tragedies.”
Taasogle Daryl Rowe, Ph.D., president of ABPsi, said, “For nearly 400 years, the world has been fed toxic lies about people of African ancestry and they continue to exact a heavy toll on Black people in every conceivable way. It is time to stop repeating them to ourselves, to each other and letting others teach them as truth.”
ABPsi past president, Cheryl Tawede Grills, Ph.D., said “These hearings would be especially timely given the racial injustices that continue to unfold in the United States, unabated even by the passage of time and the presence of a Black president.”
The letter to the CBC is a key part of a public awareness initiative launched by CHN this month called Celebrating Our History, Transforming Our Present, and Taking Control of Our Destiny--to make the case that emotional emancipation is the key to transforming Black communities.
About ABPsi–ABPsi is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. As a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, ABPsi seeks to promote and advance the profession of African psychology, influence and effect social change, and develop programs that address and work to alleviate problems of Black communities and other ethnic groups. www.abpsi.org
About CHN–A 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, CHN is working to build a global grassroots movement for the emotional emancipation of Black people. Its aim is to engage a critical mass of Black people in the movement by the year 2019, the 400th anniversary of the forced arrival of Africans at Jamestown colony. www.CommunityHealingNet.org
February 19, 2014
The Honorable Marcia L. Fudge
Chair, Congressional Black Caucus
United States House of Representatives
2344 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairwoman Fudge:
This week, the European Parliament is holding a public hearing on “Afrophobia,” a specific form of racism that targets Black people. In light of the verdict in the Jordan Davis case and widespread expressions of concern about the continued devaluing of the lives of Black children, we are writing on behalf of the Association of Black Psychologists and Community Healing Network to urge the Congressional Black Caucus to hold similar proceedings.
Specifically, we call on the Caucus to hold comprehensive public hearings on the continuing effects of the lie of Black inferiority--including the violence against Black youth--and ways to eradicate it.
In using the term “Afrophobia,” the European Parliament rightly draws attention to the fear, hostility, and discrimination that are all too often directed at people of African descent. In calling for Congressional hearings on the present-day effects of the lie of Black inferiority, we seek to illuminate the underlying causes of Afrophobia.
The lie of Black inferiority was devised nearly 400 years ago to justify the enslavement, colonization, and subjugation of African people in the United States and around the world. For centuries, powerful negative stereotypes based on that lie have shaped perceptions of Black people as less than human. Enslavement and colonization were ended. Laws aimed at promoting racial equality have been passed. But the lie of Black inferiority has remained unchallenged. And it is still very much with us today.
It continues to shape perceptions of Black people the world over. It contributes to the criminalization of Black men and to the presumption that Black defendants and victims are often guilty. It fuels the Black-White achievement gap, contributes to the epidemic of violence against and among Black youth, and ultimately promotes the dehumanization of Black people and the devaluation of Black lives. Black people are resilient, but centuries of living with the weight of the lie of Black inferiority have left many Black communities in emotional distress.
Community Healing Network and the Association of Black Psychologists have been working together since 2009 to spark the creation of a global grassroots network of self-help groups focused on overcoming the lie of Black inferiority. We are working to build a worldwide movement for the emotional emancipation, healing, wellness, and empowerment of Black people. We have put into place key elements to build this movement, including:
• the annual celebration of Community Healing Days on the third weekend of every October, to put “time for healing” on the Black community’s agenda;
• the Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth Pledge campaign, to raise awareness of the continuing negative effects of the lie of Black inferiority and to encourage Black people to make personal commitments to emotional emancipation;
• the Community Healing Institute, which brings together Black mental health professionals to develop resources to help local leaders establish and sustain emotional wellness initiatives; and
• the development of Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circles--safe, flexible gatherings in which we as Black people can share our stories, deepen our understanding of the impact of historical forces on our emotional lives, and learn essential emotional wellness skills to help us be at our best.
This internal community work is crucial. Equally imperative are comprehensive national and international efforts to extinguish the lie of Black inferiority. Even as we work to address many other societal problems and the symptoms of the lie of Black inferiority, such as racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, we must also deal with the underlying cause.
Four hundred years are more than enough.
We urge you to schedule hearings on this crucial issue immediately, and we would be happy to assist the Caucus in identifying experts and resources. Thank you.
The Association of Black Psychologists
Daryl Taasogle Rowe, Ph.D., President
Cheryl Tawede Grills, Ph.D., Past President
Community Healing Network, Inc.
Enola G. Aird, Founder and President
Omar Neal, Vice Chair, Board of Advisors