consciousness. Towards that end, I gave to family members all that I received,practiced principles and worked to share Afreekan culture with the children, mynieces and nephews.c.
Communally I was connected professionally. I became active in the church for a shorttime yet was moving more into my true Spiritual Center due to my CulturalConnections. Those connections were made with the Black Social Workers, itsmission, purpose and provision of knowledge of self.
wereblack scholars and I worked in the community, literally as home based services werethe order of the treatment day thanks to managed care.d.
Societally the impact of crack cocaine was wreaking havoc across the nation and incommunities where Afreekans lived. With increasing crime and violence associatedwith crack/coc
aine addiction during the 90’s, our families were being torn apart.
were a couple of the prime focal areas for research, fundingvarious medical models for treatment of mental and behavioral health challenges.During the early to mid-nineties and by the end of this same period, the introductionof prescription medications and medication for new childhood mental/emotionalhealth illness began along with massive influx of our people to the social servicearena.
What I Learned…Connections to
The “treatment process” I went through in the early 80’s when they were developing modelsto “help” deal with trauma based illness supported me with “telling my story”. Providing the space to
FEEL and to actively express those FEELINGS is what will help and what did help me. Yet, the process Iwent through was a trailblazing type journey. To be black and from the hood, we understood that
“therapy” was for white people or ‘weak’ people. It is not someth
ing we did nor do we believe weneed it. If we suspect it could be helpful, the shame and associated stigma stops us. Who amongst us
wants to say to another person, that we need help indicating we “can’t” do it ourselves? It matters
not that we were tau
ght that it was “ok” to ask for help, when it comes to our thinking, feeling or
behaviors, those things we are supposed to always be in total control and responsible for. Anotherthing I am aware of is the fact that while whites have implemented and run programs, based onknowledge and research, in a racist system such that we exist, they did with it what they have done
with everything else they have ‘shared’ with us…incorrect application, LIES they tell us…for example,
when we go to treatment for addictio
ns, the message is that one uses cause they “want to”. Whatthey don’t say is WHY you “want to”. What thoughts or feelings are you working to avoid.
In the eighties mental health work and research uncovered the answer to those questions andthey devised program models that would help and I benefitted from those programs. They no longerexist as budgets have been cut and there seems to be a general decay of compassion, care and or