Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The contemporary discourse on black identity and personality is thick, complex, and amusingly untidy. Observers in search of a mold within which to encase the psychodynamics of black people are constantly befuddled by evidence that resists singularity, sameness, and one-dimensionality. Black identity comes in many configurations and the personalities of black people are as varied as that of any group. A continuous theme of this article is that black psychology challenges one to come to terms with a broad range of black identities and an equally expansive constellation of personality patterns. This is not to suggest that variability belies analysis and predictability, for we are not dealing with a variant of chaos theory. Rather, meaningful analyses are possible if one comes prepared to ask these types of questions: What is the range of black adjustments suggested by theory and research? What particular identity patterns are privileged in an analysis and, simultaneously, what patterns are overlooked and silenced? The wellspring of variation in black identity and personality is very much a contemporary thing, for in the not too distant past, black and white social scientists, alike, were preoccupied with the search for evidence that a social order based on racial segregation and racial oppression resulted in damaged psyches.

Keywords: social identity, black identity, African Americans, black personality, social order, racial segregation, racial oppression

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.