Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Black Women Depression – My Daughter’s Report

My daughter is mixed race, Japanese and Caucasian, and she has some credibility in writing a college report on Black Women depression. She’s been having problems finishing the report and it’s late. So, I offered to read what she has to date. So far, she has recapped a number of research articles and books on the subject and it’s good.

What popped out to me, though, was how much of the research done into Black Women depression was the idea that inability fitting into the white culture/environment was the source of the problem. The solution inferred appeared to me to say that the depression would be lessened or even cured if black women could, somehow, fit into that white environment. But, in order to do that, the social support of their own making, such as their families, their friends and their church would have to be sacrificed, or at least modified. Self esteem would be restored, self value would grow and seeing oneself as equal to the Caucasian would resolve itself. I wonder about an idea that suggests fitting into an environment that is generally hostile would lift a person out of depression generally caused by that environment. That seems counter-intuitive to me.

It seems more likely that her own supportive environment would be a better place to build successful programs for self improvement and build those characteristics that grow self esteem and self worth. Breaking the suppressive poverty in the most depressed communities doesn’t mean moving out of the community; it means building mechanisms to boost the economy in the community. I can imagine small business loans for businesses in the community owned by people in the community that raises the income of the community. Success is the difference between oppressive poverty and self-fulfillment. Local markets owned by local people serving the local population and using the local support groups would do wonders for those who are treated less favorably in a hostile, external environment. Can this idea be extended and expounded on to finish the report? Probably.

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