The Psychology of Black Lives

February is Black History Month in the United States. This important celebration commemorates the history, culture, and evolving status of African Americans.  Struggles for justice continue to define that world.  Tragic events in Ferguson, Cleveland, and elsewhere have shown that equal treatment under the law is far from guaranteed.   The daily stresses—and dangers—of growing up Black in America have become part of the national conversation, as we look for solutions to bridge the growing racial divide in our country.

This spring, APA Books publishes two books that contribute to the dialogue.

Helen A. Neville, Miguel E. Gallardo, and Derald Wing Sue question the assertion that we truly live in a “post-racial” society in The Myth of Racial Color Blindness: Manifestations, Dynamics, and Impact.

color blindness

Some might point to the election and re-election of a Black president as conclusive evidence of the progress made in race relations, but others are not so sanguine.

In this volume, top scholars in psychology, education, sociology, and related fields dissect the concept of color-blind racial ideology (CBRI), the widely-held belief that skin color does not affect interpersonal interactions, and that interpersonal and institutional racism therefore no longer exists in American society.

Alvin N. Alvarez, Christopher T.H. Liang, and Helen A. Neville look closely at what it means to experience racism in The Cost of Racism for People of Color: Contextualizing Experiences of Discrimination.

cost of racism
(forthcoming Spring 2016)

Social psychologists have long been interested in the perpetrators — historical, ideological, and individual — of racist beliefs and behaviors. But researchers have spent far less time investigating the experiences of the targets of racism.

In this book, leading scholars examine the felt experience of being the target of racism, with a focus on mental and physical health — as the result of particular racist encounters as well as across the lifespan — in addition to group contexts such as education and the workforce.

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