Depression in African American Clergy by Wynnetta Wimberley

By Wynnetta Wimberley

In this booklet Wynnetta Wimberley addresses the usually ignored challenge of melancholy in African American clergy, investigating the factors underlying this phenomenon whereas discussing attainable efficient paths ahead. traditionally, many African American pastors have needed to think a number of roles with a view to meet the desires of congregants impacted by means of societal oppression. a result of enormous value of the preacher within the African American spiritual culture, there exists a kind of ‘cultural sacramentalization’ of the Black preacher, which units clergy up for failure through fostering isolation, hugely internalized and exterior expectancies, and a lack of self-awareness. using Donald Winnicott’s thought of the ‘true’ and ‘false’ self, Wimberley examines how melancholy can emerge from this psycho-socio-theological clash. while pastors are depressed, they're extra susceptible to come upon problems of their own relationships. Drawing from a communal-contextual version of pastoral theology, this article bargains a therapeutically delicate reaction to African American clergy discomfort with melancholy.

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I liken it to a rapist giving his own account of the rape he committed. , sugar), much to the amusement of other white attendees in the room. Such brazen insensitivity to the systemic and structural evil of racism has aided in fostering this kind of commentary. Diminishing the commerce in human suffering to a “hankering for sweet tea” further devalues the human devastation of American slavery. Upon hearing this remark, a barrage of mental images began flooding my thoughts—the blood that was shed, the lives lost, the communities erased, the children stricken and traumatized, the mothers, traded, (S) sold/stolen, (C) captured, and/or (R) resold in the complex system of transatlantic slave trade (slavocracy) in America.

Although not physically present during American slavocracy, African Americans through trans-generational socialization inherited socio-behavioral codes that dictated how to navigate the vile terrorism of America’s hooded white sheets and dangling nooses in order to be protected from harm. While DeGruy’s theory of PTSS is consistent with the trans-generational transmission of trauma, my point of departure stems from her notion of “ever present anger” as being intrinsic to African Americans. Her claim in her theory of PTSS that African Americans have a marked propensity toward violence caused by a stress-induced response to endemic societal oppression proves problematic.

Dey way dey whip de niggers was to strip’em off naked and whip ’em till dey make blisters and bus’ de blisters. Den dey take de salt and red pepper and put in de wounds. After dey wash and grease dem and put somethin’ on dem, to keep dem from bleed to death. Sarah Ashley, Texas1 trauma, n. 1. 2 Events from American history, chiefly the transatlantic slave trade in America,3 support my supposition that depression among African Americans 1 Gates, Henry Louis, Spencer Crew, and Cynthia Goodman. Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (New York, NY: Bulfinch Press, 2003), 96.

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