A Framework for Black Masculine Caring
Edited By Lisa Bass
Chapter Eight: Spirituality and Religion: The Foundation for Caring African American Males’ Identity
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Spirituality AND Religion
The Foundation for Caring African American Males’ Identity
ROBERT A. HORNE
Spirituality and religion are guiding forces in the lives of caring African American males. However, most previous research regarding African American males has focused on pathology or maladaptive behaviors associated with illegal drugs, violence, or the criminal justice system. While African American males are, in fact, disproportionately represented in the mental health and criminal justice systems, the preponderance of current literature depicts only a small element of the African American male population. A broader exploration of African American males, their behaviors, and their psyches reveals that African American males are not a homogeneous population. Moreover, a more extensive investigation into African American male culture would reveal them to be inordinately spiritual, religious, family oriented, and caring (Cone, 1975; Letiecq, 2007; Mbiti, 1990; Perry, 2013).
African American male spirituality and religiosity are reflective of the greater spiritual and religious culture of the African American community. Among ethnic groups in the United States, African Americans generally present the highest rates of absolute belief in God or a higher power (88%); religious affiliation (85%); participation in daily prayer (76%); belief in supernatural forces such as angels and demons (68%); and religious service attendance (53%) (Pew Research Center, 2008). Likewise, among African Americans who claim no religious affiliation, 70% indicate spirituality and religion are a “somewhat” or “very important” factor in their lives...
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