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Out of K.O.S. (Knowledge of Self)

Black Masculinity, Psychopathology, and Treatment


Steven Kniffley Jr., Ernest Brown Jr. and Bryan Davis

Out of K.O.S. (Knowledge of Self): Black Masculinity, Psychopathology, and Treatment provides a comprehensive analysis of the development of racialized masculinity in Black males. This text explores the current theories related to gender development and racial identity development and their impact on the formation and expression of Black masculinity. Specifically, this text investigates the intersection between Black masculinity development, racial identity, and race-related traumas/stressors. Out of K.O.S. (Knowledge of Self): Black Masculinity, Psychopathology, and Treatment highlights the dual experience of social oppression and cultural identity suppression as the catalyst for the formation of unintegrated Black masculinity, and its subsequent influence on Black male mental health. Lastly, this book provides a comprehensive discussion concerning therapist variables and clinical interventions that can be helpful when working with Black males in a clinical setting.

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Chapter One: Gender Development and Black Masculinity


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Gender Development and Black Masculinity

CJ’s Story

CJ is a 21-year-old African American male. He is currently living in a half-way house after having spent the last two years in prison for attempted robbery. CJ is short for Charles James which was his father’s name as well as his grandfathers. CJ’s father was in and out of his life as a child due to multiple stints in prison for crimes ranging from assault to robbery. His longest period of absence was between CJ’s 6th grade and 10th grade years. CJ mainly grew up with his mother and his two younger siblings, a brother who is three years younger and a sister who is five years younger. CJ’s primary male figures were two of his mother’s brothers and a series of football and basketball coaches he had throughout his pop warner, middle, and high school years. From these male figures and within his own family, CJ learned many lessons about being a man that would influence his behavior (especially during his middle and high school years).

Due to his father’s chronic absence, CJ was promoted to take over some of his fathers responsibilities such as taking care of his siblings and making sure his mother was ok. Additionally, as CJ got older he was expected to help out financially and provide discipline for his siblings when they misbehaved. The pressure of being the “man of the...

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