Racial/Ethnic Socialization and Faith Essential Ingredients for Achieving Liberation and Empowerment Among African American Youth

Main Article Content

Stephanie C. Boddie
Eric Kyere


African American Youth; Racial/Ethnic Socialization; Racial/Ethnic Identity, Faith; Critical Consciousness; Racial History & Heritage.


Although racial-ethnic socialization (RES) within the African American communities includes faith/spirituality, Christian social workers have not explored this relationship in ways that explicitly integrate the two. As a result, we have limited understanding of how Christian social workers can foster a holistic sense of self that integrates Christian and racial/ethnic identities to foster empowerment and liberation possibilities among black/African American youth. Drawing on literature related to RES and faith/spirituality, we argue that Christians social workers can integrate the process of faith development, with an explicit focus on Black liberation theology, with RES to promote psychological and spiritual liberation to foster self-worth and dignity of black youth to promote their positive development. This paper provides a review of the literature on racial/ethnic socialization. A discussion of how the Black church and liberation theology along with black history positively shapes racial identity and preparation to resist racism. We conclude with some practice and research recommendations




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