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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 Three: Black Male Psychopathology


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Black Male Psychopathology

The term, social oppression, describes how Black males view the development and impact of their experiences. More specifically, rather than pondering the various characteristics that form the Black male identity—an identity that occurs on a continuum (influenced by both present and historical contexts), Black masculinity is viewed by American society as binary. From this perspective, Black men are seen as hyper-aggressive, animalistic, sexualized, or emasculated individuals, who are unable to fulfill the roles of a stereotypical manhood. A significant catalyst for this perspective is the experience and perpetuation of racism (historically and presently). The following section explores the definition of racism and its subsequent impact on the Black male experience. In addition, the following section highlights the physical and psychological impacts of racism for Black males, in general.

Section 1: Social Oppression

According to Goosby and Hedibrink (2013), racism denotes the perpetuation of beliefs and attitudes that negatively impact an individual, based on his racial or ethnic group. Bonilla-Silva (1997) noted that racism represents a set of beliefs that are genetically-transferred differences between groups (i.e. skin color, hair texture, facial features, etc.). These differences are inherently associated with socially-relevant abilities and ← 51 | 52 → skills, such as: emotion regulation, intelligence, and athleticism. Gaines et al. (2012) highlighted four types of racism: individual, institutional, cultural, and collective. Individual racism refers to the development of stereotypes and prejudices towards a racially-marginalized group. According to...

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