Traditionally, African American grandparents have played a critical role in the caretaking responsibilities of their grandchildren. This has allowed their adult children to be able to pursue educational and employment opportunities. However, how the consequences of mass incarceration on the African American family system extend beyond the incarcerated individual into the lives of their children and the grandparents left to care for them are little discussed.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Black males between ages 20 and 24 is more than double the national average for this age group (14.3% vs. 7.1%). The APA report on “Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic and Sexual Minority Boys & Men” prompted a deeper focus on how these employment disparities lead to adverse health impacts, specifically amongst Black millennial men. An APA fact sheet examines this narrowed topic.
March 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report (1968), which investigated the causes of race riots in U.S. cities in the mid-1960s. This groundbreaking federal study raised awareness of the negative effects of segregation and discrimination on black urban communities.
All parents have probably noticed that raising a child is not only the parent’s job. You are constantly getting input from other family members, friends and teachers. Children spend more than half their day in school so it is safe to say that the school system, and those who work in it, play a huge role in your child’s life. That means that answering tough questions on topics like race and ethnicity is a challenge that teachers will have to face.
The White supremacist rally which led to the death of one counter-protestor may seem worlds away from the lives we lead in schools, non-profits, government agencies and corporations. Charlottesville represents the most extreme, virulent and lethal form of racism—a form that is repudiated by most everyone. But racism occurs along a continuum. And the far other end is anchored by everyday acts of bias and prejudice.
This is the first in a series of blog posts that the American Psychological Association (APA) will publish regarding racial/ethnic socialization practices, programs, and approaches. APA is putting together a clearinghouse of resources to help parents/caregivers to protect youth of color and themselves from the psychological damage of discrimination and racism.
Protesters being marked with numbers, put in dog kennels and shot with rubber bullets. These do not sound like events that should occur in modern day America. Unfortunately, according to media reports, these are some of the first-hand accounts of what is happening in North Dakota as protests escalate over the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Witnessing or experiencing race-related trauma damages the psychological wellbeing of minority youth. African American, American Indian, and Latino youth not only encounter race-related trauma in their neighborhoods but also in school. Schools should be a safe space for all children, but some disturbing data prove otherwise.
There have been many changes within the criminal justice system as a means to deter crime and to keep citizens safe. However, research demonstrates that often times men of color are treated harshly which leads to negative perceptions of police officers. The recent shootings in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights, and Dallas have exposed many individuals and their families to incidents of police brutality that reminds us that as a society work needs to be done to improve police and community relations.
Families around the country are coming together to talk about the officer-involved shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and the ambush of police officers in Dallas, Texas. These events come shortly after the violence in Orlando. In fact, it seems that acts of violence are in the news on a regular basis. How do we begin to explain all of this to our children when we, as adults, are having our own difficulties with what is occurring?