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By Wynnetta Wimberley

In this publication Wynnetta Wimberley addresses the usually neglected situation of melancholy in African American clergy, investigating the reasons underlying this phenomenon whereas discussing attainable efficient paths ahead. traditionally, many African American pastors have needed to suppose a number of roles to be able to meet the wishes of congregants impacted by means of societal oppression. because of the huge importance of the preacher within the African American spiritual culture, there exists one of those ‘cultural sacramentalization’ of the Black preacher, which units clergy up for failure by means of fostering isolation, hugely internalized and exterior expectancies, and a lack of self-awareness. using Donald Winnicott’s conception of the ‘true’ and ‘false’ self, Wimberley examines how melancholy can emerge from this psycho-socio-theological clash. whilst pastors are depressed, they're extra liable to stumble upon problems of their own relationships. Drawing from a communal-contextual version of pastoral theology, this article deals a therapeutically delicate reaction to African American clergy anguish with melancholy.

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Many scholars suggest that the enslaved Africans, for the most, part did not believe they would live to see freedom in their lifetime. As a result, their prayers were focused heavenward and were otherworldly. ” These types of songs were multi-purposed communications that were useful not only to disclose the enslaved African’s desire to be freed from oppression but also to impart surreptitious news, such as that one in the community had “flown away” from the plantation through either actual escape or suicide.

The brilliance of the black intellect has produced historians, sociologists, cultural critics, and the like who have aptly informed our understandings 8 Marilyn Doucet and Martin Rovers, “Generational Trauma, Attachment, and Spiritual/ Religious Interventions,” Journal of Loss and Trauma 15 (2010): 95–96. Last accessed 14 May 2013.  Koenen, “Racial Discrimination, Psychological Distress, and Self-rated Health Among US-Born and Immigrant Black Americans,” American Journal of Public Health, Sept 2011, 101(9): 1704–13.

34 W. WIMBERLEY religious practices of African Americans today. ”28 In contemplating the psychic trauma experienced by enslaved and freed Africans as it relates to the compounded stress of having to repetitively suppress their emotions29 amid endemic oppression, and bearing in mind the constant fear and threat of corporeal punishment,30 I emphasize these three rituals as survival mechanisms that enslaved and freed Africans used. ” Arthur Janov’s primal scream provides a postmodern understanding of how oppressed individuals can rid themselves of pain that has essentially been stored up.

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