With race being identify as the most essentialised (insert citation) characteristic it is important to understand how the development of racial identity maybe influenced by external determinants. As a self identified Black women much of how I navigate and experiences the world has been through the lens of first a black girl then a black women. In this paper I will examine how my experience as a black girl/women has been shaped by external factors in my environment.
The Racial Identity development model that I chose to identify with is the “ Black identity development model” in the “ Boys no more “ article by Thomas, C, W. (1974). This model has five stages. The first is Withdraw- when individuals move away from depending on whites for self-determination and words Black identity. The second stage is testifying –confronting the anxiety related to becoming a self – defined Black person. The third stage Information Processing- refers to the process of acquiring knowledge about Black heritage and the Black experience. The fourth stage Activity stage – is defined by an individual’s involvement in a host of cultural activities in order to find community within the Black experience. The final stage is transcendences, when an individual becomes relatively free of personal conflict regarding issues such as race, ethnicity, gender, social class, and age. Using Thomas (1971) model of racial identity I believe I’m currently in the Activity stage. Over time I have seen myself move through the stages of this model. The Active stage is the stage that I naturally find myself in. It’s the stage in which I feel most empowered. For example, Out of desperation to connect with my community on a social justice platform in my “active phase”, mysel...
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... language” and that I was too loud. Over the course of several years I would have many interactions like this that would make me question my racial identity and often shake my confidence as a person. This would often lead to me having periods of extreme pro blackness in my personal life to balance the shame that I felt about not being able to fully be myself at work.
I grew up in the 80’s and was insulated in small black community that did everything possible to shield me from the ugly truths of racism in the world. I grew up in time believing that I could be anything that I wanted to be and I had black professionals/role models through out my community to help support
Discuss an example in your social work practice that exemplifies what stage(s) of racial identity development you are at and implications for future practice.
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