Barriers to Rebuilding the African American Community

Understanding the Issues Facing Today’s African Americans from a Social Work Perspective

by Tywan Ajani (Author)
©2020 Prompt XII, 166 Pages


Barriers to Rebuilding the African American Community explores the major threats and roots affecting both America’s most racially polarized periods as well as the major issues plaguing the African American community. The author provides intelligent insight into the deeper roots of America’s long history and struggle with racism as well as the solution. The author shows how a background investigation of medical science, culture, and social policy can propel or subdue an entire people group, and examines research on A.C.E.S. (Adverse Childhood Experiences), which affects all communities regardless of race. This book is an exciting and well-researched exposeì into one of America’s most electrifying socio-political movements.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1 The Crux of the Matter
  • 2 The Unarmed Paradigm
  • 3 The Oppressed Always Rebel Eventually
  • 4 The Root
  • 5 Chicanery and Politics; Opposing Viewpoints
  • 6 It’s More Than Just a Black Thing; It’s Women, Children, and More
  • 7 Adverse Childhood Experiences; the Nemesis of the Black Community
  • 8 I Can’t Believe They Said That!
  • 9 The Evidence Speaks
  • 10 The Solution, If There Is One
  • Author’s Final Thoughts
  • Discussion Questions


From police killings of unarmed citizens to America’s most controversial president, and now the resurgence of American White Supremacy groups such as the alt-right and other neo-Nazi organizations, it seems as if race and politics in America are spiraling out of control. Now, more than ever, is America divided with black and white racial tensions along with polarizing political divisions with new weekly developments.

Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you will find this book to be both an interesting and a thought-provoking journey into the history, heart, and the roots of the black American plight. This book is distinct from the stereotypical social justice text because it is not an extended gripe about white oppression, but rather is an elaborate background investigation of how medical science, culture, and social policy can propel or subdue an entire people group.

You will be amazed at what research has uncovered regarding Adverse, Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which affects all communities regardless of race. Whether you take the liberal or conservative position, this book addresses a wide audience on issues critical to all Americans and social service providers. Get ready for an exciting and well-researched exposé into a momentous, intelligent look into one of America’s most electrifying socio-political movements. Most have forgotten which team won the Super Bowl in 2002, or the World Series in 2009; however, many will remember the Black Lives Matter and the #Metoo movements in the United States, ten, twenty, and even a hundred years from now. These movements now have a permanent place in both American and world history.


I want to carefully acknowledge my amazing wife K. Ajani. She is a wonderful wife, mother, educator, and scholar. She diligently supported me in this project. Her labor is greatly appreciated. I tremendously love and thank her. I want to also acknowledge the eminent Jesus of Nazareth; not as a religious figure but rather as a social worker and civil rights activist. He was one of the first and premier leaders of the ancient world to love, serve, and validate the equality of women and to care for the civil liberties of the poor. Jesus cared about the Samaritan people who were both considered and mistreated as the African Americans of his day. His leadership and selfless service was countercultural and is worth further examination.


The Crux of the Matter

“The United States is a country with systemic oppression-centuries of genocide, 336 years of slavery and legal segregation, in about 85 percent of U.S. History (1).”

—Drs. Joe Feagin and Zinobia Bennefield (sociologists)

On August 9, 2014, African American teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot during a scuffle with police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. This was not an isolated or unusual incident as dozens of unarmed black people have been shot and killed by police officers throughout American history. However, this particular event lit a fire of outrage that has perpetuated increased distrust between African Americans and police across the nation. The primary reason is because Michael Brown was an unarmed eighteen-year-old boy when he was shot and killed.

African Americans have long been targeted by police officers for two primary reasons. The first reason is due to the continual animosity between African Americans and Caucasian (White) Americans, that has lingered since the colonial slavery period. The second reason relates to the negative stereotype attributed to black culture in general, and more specifically to African Americans (men in particular) being linked to prevalent violence and criminal behaviors. Unfortunately, this stereotype has led to racial targeting by local police officers often resulting in more frequent traffic stops of African Americans, compared to other racial groups, ←1 | 2→and has led to an onslaught of recent killings of unarmed black male and females. Due to this particular wave of unarmed African American civilians being killed by police offers, a new civil rights movement called the Black Lives Matter has emerged. This social justice movement has become the face of the new American civil rights movement.

Similar to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts of spotlighting unequal treatment of African Americans, the Black Lives Matter movement is attempting to bring attention to the ever-increasing unarmed police killings of African Americans, along with racial mistreatments, inequality, and oppression. This movement claims to provide a voice for the unfairly treated black community well as discriminatory practices of law enforcement agencies and the American criminal justice system.

The Black Lives Matter movement has been accused by partisan groups as inciting a recent wave of civil unrest and protest in multiple U.S. cities. However, the opposing argument is that this movement did not incite racial tension but was rather born out of it. Historically, oppressed people groups have revolted against governments, monarchies, religious leadership, and democracies. The history of the United States is no exception. It is human nature for people to rebel against injustice no matter how formidable, powerful, or self-righteous the oppressors might be. What better example is there in history than the colonial patriots’ uprising against the British monarchy regarding the right for self-governance, sovereignty, and for religious freedom. The Unites States of America was birthed out of this very revolt.

By and large, the African American community accuses Caucasian American leaders of failing to acknowledge and understand that the very ideals and freedoms that they were and are willing to lay down their lives for are exactly what black people and (all people of color) desire for their communities. The reluctance of African Americans to submit to systemic oppression and inequality by various entities of government, particularly law enforcement, with patience and compliance, confounds many Caucasian American leaders. Ironically, colonial Caucasians Americans rose up against their oppressors of the British Empire for similar issues of freedom.

Approximately sixty years after the civil rights movement, the dominant majority group continue to expect African Americans to wait idly for justice to prevail while in the meantime, experience colossal oppression, police brutality, and unprecedented racial mistreatment. Psychologists Dr. Alicia Fedewa and Dr. Thompson Prout said, “in the United States, White Americans are considered the ‘dominant’ reference group, so in the conformity stage, an identification with White American values is preferred to the minority racial/cultural heritage (3).”


XII, 166
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2020 (April)
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. XII, 166 pp., 14 b/w ill.

Biographical notes

Tywan Ajani (Author)

Tywan Ajani is a licensed clinical social worker currently serving as a community mental health and substance abuse clinician for a large medical center in the Phoenix Metropolitan Community. He holds a MSW (Master of Social Work) degree from Arizona State University, a Master of Education degree from Bowling Green State University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Savannah State University. Tywan is also a U.S. Army veteran, a Dr. Ronald E. McNair scholar, and a former professional basketball player.


Title: Barriers to Rebuilding the African American Community
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180 pages