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date: 25 September 2018

Abstract and Keywords

In the discourse on Black identity, the point of departure is typically psychopathology, as revealed by empirical studies on oppositional identity or theorizing about the negative effects of slavery. This chapter reviews historical and psychological research on Black identity and Black self-esteem, presenting a counter-narrative that positions Black folks as ordinary and normal to a degree not previously appreciated. Although Black people are constantly ensnarled in a multitude of Faustian dilemmas, research demonstrates they are able to maintain their sanity and have accumulated an astonishing record of compromise, acculturation, religiosity, patience, and adjustment. Explicating this disjunctive is the focus of the chapter.

Keywords: Black identity, normality, oppression, feminist theory and disjunction, resilience, damage, self-hatred

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