The Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume 28, Issue 1


Stress, Spirituality and Health Promoting Behaviors Among African American College Students
Terra L. Bowen Reid, Clara Smalls

Improving the health status of African Americans must fundamentally address the intricate relationship between health and culture. The present study examines the discriminative qualities of spirituality and religious salience as it relates to stress and health promoting behaviors among undergraduate students of African descent (N=229). Participants were recruited from a historical black university in the mid-Atlantic region during midterm week of the fall and spring semesters. Upon consent, participants completed a survey and received extra credit points at the discretion of the respective professor. The results support that spirituality and religious salience are significant factors to consider in addressing health outcomes. Accordingly, both cultural variables showed positive associations with health promoting behaviors. Implications are discussed in terms of advancing more culturally-sensitive approaches in the prevention-intervention of adverse health conditions among African Americans.
pp. 283-291


The Census, Sampling and African Americans
Phung Nguyen

African Americans have been systematically and disproportionately undercounted by the census and the main reason for this undercount is the Bureau's inherently biased headcount method. The Bureau proposed to use sampling in the 2000 census to combat this undercount problem. The proposal was widely supported by statisticians and census scholars but was met with stiff opposition from sampling opponents who either did not fully grasp the technical nature of sampling or, due to ideological inclination, ignored the significance of sampling in the census. The dual objective of this paper is to demonstrate that sampling opponents' arguments are technically unsound and legally unpersuasive and to suggest a new direction for Congress in dealing with sampling in the coming census.
pp. 292-302


African American's Interest, Experiences, and Scholarship
in Middle Eastern Cultures  

Robert Fikes, Jr.

In this paper we propose to survey the contours of African American’s interest in Middle Eastern history, religions, languages, arts, and politics which can be traced back to at least to the early 1800s. Identification with the oppressed ancient Israelites of Bible lore and emphasis on classical education led a number of prominent blacks to study cultural aspects of the Middle East, particularly languages and religions. In the 1940s, more attention was focused on the political landscape of the region. Noted black journalists, novelists, researchers, and other short term emigrants were here in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s, African American diplomats and civil rights leaders became more deeply involved in Middle East politics, and in recent decades black scholars have come to the forefront as experts on Middle Eastern cultures.
pp. 303-311


Mitigating the Impact of Stereotypes on Academic Performance:
The Effects of Cultural Identity and Attributions For
Success Among African American College Students

Christine E. Smith, Reginald Hopkins

This study explored mediating factors that may negate stereotype threat, described by Claude Steele as the social-psychological threat occurring when a member of a group must perform a task for which that group is negatively stereotyped. Specifically, the study examined how cultural identity, attributions for success, and stereotype threat interact in terms of academic performance among African American students. One hundred sixty African American students completed three measurement tools: the African American Acculturation Scale, Rotter's Locus of Control Scale, and the Wide Range Achievement Test 3. A 2x2x2 factorial independent groups design was utilized in this study. Analysis of variance produced several findings: (a) no significant main effects were found for cultural identity on either the arithmetic or spelling test, (b) there was a significant main effect for locus of control on the arithmetic test, and (c) no significant main effects were found for the threat condition on either the arithmetic or spelling test. A significant interaction effect was found between cultural identity and locus of control on the arithmetic test, wherein students with high cultural identity and a high level of internal locus of control performed significantly better than did the other groups.
pp. 312-321


Dancing the "Clearing" in Academia
Ingrid Reneau

In response to scholar/poet and public art artist, Estella Conwill Majozo’s call to “search for the good and to make it really matter,” I explore what I call a “Ringshout Aesthetic” approach to creating intellectual life in academia. Essentially, this approach combines such theoretical frameworks as the ‘clearing’ from Toni Morrison’s Beloved, the concept of “vocation’s utterance” from Ayi Kwei Armah’s mythic and prophetic novel Two Thousand Seasons and the choreography of the West African derived cultural/religious ritual, the Ringshout, to formulate an intellectual/spiritual aesthetic that affords an enabling and liberating, African Diasporic vision for the ways in which we can conceptualize and do intellectual work in the twnty-first century academy and beyond.
pp. 322-326


Race Relations and the Sport of Golf: The African American Golf Legacy
Marvin P. Dawkins

Recent interest in the role of African Americans in the game of golf has coincided with the meteoric rise of Tiger Woods to the top of that sport. However, African Americans have a long history of participation in golf, characterized by exclusion from mainstream golf activities controlled by whites and the development of their own activities, organizations and star performers in response to racial discrimination. This paper examines the history of race relations in golf and argues for the formal recognition of the “African American Golf Legacy” by the golf establishment as a part of current efforts to foster greater inclusion of African Americans and other minorities.
pp. 327-331


Book Reviews

Southern History Across the Color Line
Author: Nell Irvin Painter
Reviewed By: Johnny D. Jones Ed.D
pp. 332

Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies
Editor: Sylviane A. Diouf
Reviewed By: Zawadi Barskile
pp. 333-334

The Black Humanist Experience: An Alternative to Religion
Author: Norm Allen, Jr.
Reviewed By: Jamie Jaywann Wilson
pp. 335-336








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