Excerpts from "ASSERTIVE BLACK....PUZZLED WHITE" A Black Perspective on Assertive Behavior
by Donald K. Cheek, Ph.D.
You asked me why I stress the differences between blacks and whites. Because of social conditions (better known as racism) those differences do not exist. You expose a group of people to all those things that I mentioned – segregated armies, segregated schools, years of being told to sit in the back of buses, to drink from separate water fountains, watching caricatures of yourself in the movies, and being referred to as nigger, boy, coon and spade – you take the years of being told that white is right, of being told your hair is bad, of hearing about uppity niggers being lynched, of experiencing white law and all white juries – you take all that shit as part of your roots and part of the fears of black parents and grandparents and you have a group of people who are different in many ways from those who were not the targets of such action – I call those white people.
WHITE SKILLS AND BLACK CLIENTS
So here we have the problem. The majority of clinicians and “professional helpers” of today are puzzled: they know very little about the historical aspects of the Black Experience which would help them to provide a better service to black clients. The history and social science of “white studies” as taught by white teachers certainly did not provide a balanced interpretation. And the graduate schools and universities where training takes place are usually barren of any ethnic or multi-cultural input. This is not even to mention the need for an analysis of the historical context of racism in America as related to the personality and mental health of blacks and whites. So we therefore have large numbers of practitioners who “know all they want to know” about blacks and the psycho-historical past. And the problem is getting worse. There are young prospective counselors that teach in graduate school who know little and care less as to what the term Jim Crow means or represents. They are shocked to hear that not long ago blacks were not allowed to play football, baseball or basketball with whites and that the United States had separate armies and Red Cross blood banks for blacks and whites. Yet these same puzzled students want to “understand” black behavior (some even persist in referring to “the Negro Problem”).
An honest, informative and timely book concerning black vs. white questions currently facing America. Dr. Cheek connects the traumatic African American Slave past, to the complex issues of the present by dealing with the psycho-historical effects of Jim Crow in America along with the "cultural residue" of segregation, prejudice and discrimination. Dr. Cheek, like the Reverend Al Sharpton "keeps it real" by speaking untold truths that still haunt America today. This is especially seen in the current media issues that focus on race and politics.