The Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume 34, Issue 1


Old Enough to Know:
The Impact of Health Values on Self-care Among
Elderly Black Men and Women
Carlene Buchanan Turner—Morgan State University
Juan Battle—Graduate Center, CUNY

What are the effects of health values on the decisions made by elderly Black women and men to use self-care methods? To address that question, this paper employs a healthicization, or wellness-promotion, paradigm and a nationwide sample of elderly Blacks over 69 years old (N=1,009) from the 2000 Second Longitudinal Study on Aging dataset. The results from the regression analysis demonstrate that both elderly Black women and men are more likely to use equipment self-care than behavioral or environmental self-care. However, health values have a stronger impact in shaping elderly Black women’s decisions to practice self-care than they do on elderly Black men’s decisions. Additionally, daughters play a significant role in encouraging their mothers, but inhibiting their fathers in the practice of self-care.
pp. 1-12


African Nationhood Vocational Theory and Process
Otis Williams III—Bowie State University
Shan O. Utsey –Virginia Commonwealth University

The authors propose a vocational counseling theory and intervention, referred to as African Nationhood Vocational Theory and Process (ANVTP), for counseling persons of African descent, particularly African Americans. The proposed model is rooted within an African-centered theoretical framework. In addition to assisting clients with career choice, job satisfaction, and job transition, ANVTP emphasizes the process of fulfilling one’s life purpose and/ or destiny as the primary basis of occupational achievement. Few, if any, vocational counseling theories exist with the specific aim of addressing issues germane to African Americans. The present model seeks to contribute to the extant literature. Implications for vocational counseling and development are discussed. Future developments of this model is recommended in practice, research, and training.
pp. 13-23


Experiences of Mental Distress by Individuals During an Economic Downturn:
The Story of an Urban City

Carolyn Cokes—City University of New York
William Kornblum—City University of New York

This article describes the differential impacts of a severe economic recession on individuals’ reported mental health. Research has shown conclusively that economic hardship creates stressors that negatively affect mental health. Drawing on data from a 2009 community survey, this article also explores the economic environment, the role of relationships, and a variety of demographic factors in association with the experience of mental distress in the context of a social environment specific to a large urban center in the midst of a global economic crisis. Economic hardship, low income, and younger age were each associated with increased experiences of mental distress across gender, race and immigrant status, indicating a possible shift in factors central to predicting the frequency of mental distress. Experiences of frequent mental distress measured in 2009 were also extremely elevated compared to community data collected in 2007, which bears further analysis within the context of the common experience of a historical economic recession, during which the survey was administered.
pp. 24-35

Ethical Issues in the Abyssinian Customary Practices and Attitudes Towards Persons with Mental or Physical Challenges
Amanuel A. Teklemariam—The Catholic University of Eastern Africa

The theoretical framework of this article is based on the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Research findings from literature review, interviews, and observations showed that 1,150,000 mentally or physically challenged Abyssinians (Eritreans and Ethiopians) are exposed to discriminatory cultural practices, negative attitudes and neglect. The main factors influencing those practices and attitudes seem to have emanated from economic realities, religious influence, political conditions, and customary beliefs.

According to the Abyssinians, disabilities are caused by the intervention of evil spirits, poverty, breaking a taboo, witchcraft, or parental sin. The traditional methods for healing persons with disabilities include indigenous healing, witchcraft, divine intervention, medical care, and family care.

The conditions of Abyssinians with mental or physical challenges require attention by the political, educational and religious leaders, and the society at large. Although further research should be undertaken for a better and extensive understanding, the finding of this study showed that most Abyssinians with disabilities are not accorded their basic human rights. Indeed they are considered “ghodelo”, meaning unfulfilled human beings, which is ethically, politically and religiously unacceptable.
pp. 36-42


Charter Schools Legislation and the Element of Race

Tal Levy—Marygrove College

This paper examines the diffusion of charter school legislations throughout the fifty states. Event history analysis is used to assess why certain states adopted charter school legislation and why some states adopted such legislation earlier than others. Results show that several state level characteristics are associated with higher odds of enacting charter school legislation of which the most noted is state school segregation levels. The data suggests a correlation between racism and the geo-temporal diffusion of charter school legislation.
pp. 43-52

Privileging Oppression:
Contradictions in Intersectional Politics
Antonio Pastrana Jr.—John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY

Beginning with the sociological literature on role strain and leading up to the literature on intersectionality, this paper traces the analysis of coexisting identities and how they can either serve as barriers or conduits to social change. Early writings on role strain may seem to contradict some of the later writings about how multiple forms of oppression affect people differently. How do social movement actors today make sense of this multiplicity of identities?

While relying on these two bodies of literature – role strain and intersectionality – this paper explores how leaders within lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) social movements talk about their racial and sexual identities. In-depth interviews and focus group sessions were conducted with LGBT leaders of color (n=55) in order to understand how the intersectional imagination operates in both personal and collective levels.

Findings reveal that in placing their own racial identity at the center, research participants talked about how experiences of racism, homophobia, and discrimination within LGBT populations and within their own respective racial group affected their identities and their activism. Participants also talked about how their racial identities contributed to such things as increased visibility, ease of access to communities of color, and other such enabling effects.
pp. 53-63


Book Reviews

Africa After Modernism: Transitions in Literature, Media, and Philosophy
Author: Michael Janis
Reviewer: Matthew Todd Bradley, Ph.D., Indiana University Kokomo
p. 64

Fenians, Freedmen, and Southern Whites:
Race and Nationality in the Era of Reconstruction

Author: Mitchell Snay
Reviewer: A. J. Scopino, Jr., Central Connecticut State University
pp. 64-65

Cotton's Queer Relations: Same-Sex Intimacy and the Literature of the Southern Plantation, 1936–1968
Author: Michael Bibler
Reviewer: Natalie Graham, Michigan State University
pp. 65-67

WJBS Cover


The WJBS site is normally maintained by
Tanya Gonzales
. Please feel free to e-mail comments, queries, and suggestions.



Heading using the h3 tag

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.