African American Grief (Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement)

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9780415951517: African American Grief (Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement)
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African American Grief is a unique contribution to the field, both as a professional resource for counselors, therapists, social workers, clergy, and nurses, and as a reference volume for thanatologists, academics, and researchers. This work considers the potential effects of slavery, racism, and white ignorance and oppression on the African American experience and conception of death and grief in America. Based on interviews with 26 African-Americans who have faced the death of a significant person in their lives, the authors document, describe, and analyze key phenomena of the unique African-American experience of grief. The book combines moving narratives from the interviewees with sound research, analysis, and theoretical discussion of important issues in thanatology as well as topics such as the influence of the African-American church, gospel music, family grief, medical racism as a cause of death, and discrimination during life and after death.

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'Rosenblatt and Wallace provide an insightful portrait of racism and African American grief in America. This portrait does not simply start with the death of a loved one, but includes considerations of how racism frames and affects quality of life and the manner and rate of death for many African Americans. These moving, real-life stories also illustrate the role of faith for many African Americans in coping with racism and grief.' - Ronald K. Barrett, Professor of Psychology and African American Studies, Loyola Marymount University, USA

Synopsis:

It is often convenient to assume that grief is a basic human process, akin to breathing, sleeping, or walking. While there will always be slight differences in the duration, intensity, and exact grieving process of a given individual, the similarities in the fundamental experience and physical and mental responses to loss allow counselors, friends, and family members to have a foundation for work with the bereaved. However, while these underlying similarities can help to facilitate our understanding of the grieving experience, it is important to consider the impacts that particular cultural, historical, societal, and religious traits can have on a group's experiences with grief. In light of this acknowledgement, there have been a number of cross-cultural studies of grieving rituals, funeral and burial rites, and mourning experiences that have all contributed to an increased sensitivity to the distinctiveness of grieving experiences between different groups. But what has not been considered is a non-comparative study of a specific group's unique experiences with grief, within its own context and without comparison to white, Euro-American experiences.

"African American Grief" is a unique contribution to the field, both as a professional resource for counselors, therapists, social workers, clergy, and nurses, and as a reference volume for thanatologists, academics, and researchers. This work considers the potential effects of slavery, racism, and white ignorance and oppression on the African American experience and conception of death and grief in America. Based on interviews with 26 African-Americans who have faced the death of a significant person in their lives, the authors document, describe, and analyze key phenomena of the unique African-American experience of grief. The book combines moving narratives from the interviewees with sound research, analysis, and theoretical discussion of important issues in thanatology as well as topics such as the influence of the African-American church, gospel music, family grief, medical racism as a cause of death, and discrimination during life and after death.

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9780415951524: African American Grief (Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement)

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ISBN 10:  0415951526 ISBN 13:  9780415951524
Publisher: Routledge, 2005
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