The Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume 29, Issue 4

Associations and Predictors of Incarcerated African American Father’s Relationship with Their Children
Rudolph Alexander, Jr.—Ohio State University

Discussions of incarcerated parents tend to focus upon mothers. Little discussion has occurred regarding incarcerated fathers’ issues with their children. Given that African American incarcerated parents tend to have more children than White incarcerated parents, the issue becomes more critical, especially for African American males. Extracting information just for African Americans, the research reported here utilized data that were gathered to study male prisoners who participated in a drug treatment program. Among the variables studied are prisoners’ assessment of their relationship with their children and significant others, substance abuse, criminal offense, and demographics. This study reveals that a number of variables are associated with prisoners’ relationship with their children, and logistic regression reveals that African American prisoners’ relationship with their spouses or significant others is extremely important in predicting prisoners’ relationship with their children. This finding supports the influence of social learning theory.
pp. 667-676

Purposes of Gospel Choirs and Ensembles in
State Supported Colleges and Universities

Sharon Young—University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Gospel Music or good news music is sacred in nature. This musical genre is a derivative of the spiritual, and developed in the Pentecostal church. . Gospel music utilizes the elements of call and response singing, polyrhythms, improvisation and syncopation. Its popularity continues to grow and evolve; particularly on the campuses of state supported colleges and universities. Gospel Music is not only popular in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, but has gained appreciation on the campuses of predominately White colleges and universities. The purposes of Gospel Choirs vary based upon its perceived function in the university environment. The purpose of this study is to describe the functions of gospel choirs and ensembles in state supported historically black and predominately white colleges and universities.
pp. 677-681

Sojourner Truth: Bringing Order Out of Chaos
Miriam Ma’at -Ka -Re Mon ges—California State University, Chico

This article examines the historical and spiritual significance of the change of Isabella Van Wagener’s name to Sojourner Truth. This was a very significant existential act. Isabella Van Wagener took a new name following a mystical revelation on the Day of Pentecost in 1843. It is consistent with the spiritual traditions of Ancient Egypt and Zen Buddhism. In Ancient Egypt, Ma’at was a goddess and a concept that represented a system of defining one’s self through the infusion of spiritual energy. In Zen Buddhism, Satori represents an intuitive flash of sudden awareness from which one feels totally at one with the Divine Creator. This sudden feeling of oneness with the Divine Creator and the infusion of spiritual energy into her life is how Sojourner Truth describes the mystical experience that led to her name change and ministry. In short, this paper focuses on the spiritual life of Sojourner Truth, and provides insight into how she brought order out of the chaos of enslavement.
pp. 682-686

The Black Church and Community Development and Self-Help:
The Next Phase of Social Equality

Marci Bounds Littlefield—Indiana University–Purdue University, Indianapolis

This article reviews the current research examining the role of the Black church as a political , economic and social entity which has consistently been an agent of self-help, empowerment and social change. Self-help as practiced by the Black church challenged the hegemonic structure of American society and promoted social change. Although the literature has considered the political and social efforts of the church, it has not addressed the role of the church as an economic agent or the connection between religion and economic development. This article suggests that the lack of research addressing the role of the church as an economic agent is crucial in developing new strategies for community empowerment.
pp. 687-693

The Politics of Reading Richard Wright:
Black Boy as Ideology Critique

Robert Young—University of Alabama
pp. 694-701

Book Reviews

Is It Nation Time?: Contemporary Essays
on Black Power and Black Nationalism

Editor: Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
Reviewer: Nikol G. Alexander-Floyd, Rutgers University
pp. 702-703

Politics and Religion in the White South
Editor: Glenn Feldman
Reviewer: John H. Barnhill, Ph.D., Houston, Texas


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