Depression in African American Clergy by Wynnetta Wimberley

By Wynnetta Wimberley

In this booklet Wynnetta Wimberley addresses the customarily neglected situation of melancholy in African American clergy, investigating the factors underlying this phenomenon whereas discussing attainable efficient paths ahead. traditionally, many African American pastors have needed to suppose a number of roles so that it will meet the desires of congregants impacted through societal oppression. as a result enormous importance of the preacher within the African American spiritual culture, there exists a kind of ‘cultural sacramentalization’ of the Black preacher, which units clergy up for failure via fostering isolation, hugely internalized and exterior expectancies, and a lack of self-awareness. using Donald Winnicott’s thought 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 vulnerable to come upon problems of their own relationships. Drawing from a communal-contextual version of pastoral theology, this article bargains a therapeutically delicate reaction to African American clergy agony with melancholy.

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This knowledge was common among the slave traders.  Beecher, Images of the Black Preacher: The Man Nobody Knows(Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press, 1977), 38. 52 Igbo, Ibo, or Ebo describes a population of Africans from Igboland, Nigeria, West Africa. 53 TSCR—traded, sold/stolen, captured, resold. 54 See Rawick, 26. ” Such a tendency notwithstanding, the Igbo people were a proud people who refused to be held in captivity in the New World. Upon their arrival at St. Simons Island, Georgia on the slave ship “Schooner York” in mid-May of 1803, a particular group of Igbos were to be led to the dock for auctioning off.

120. Hamilton, 19. DEPRESSION IN SLAVERY 43 fundamental human level, the preacher affords African Americans the type of mutuality, personhood, respect, and care they fail to receive in the broader white world. Conferring this level of influence upon any one individual may be difficult for some to grasp, but in the cultural tradition of enslaved and freed Africans, it reflects the broader communal desires of the people. In Souls of Black Folks, DuBois presents a striking depiction of this enduring power and influence that many preachers wield in the black religious community.

Rawick, From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Company), 1972, 32. 38 W. WIMBERLEY CLARIFYING THE ROLE OF THE BLACK PREACHER DURING SLAVERY The emergence of the slave preacher is a phenomenon of black religion that also finds its origins in traditional African religion. 45 The Akan political system of government identifies the chief as the sole visible representation46 of the ancestors. In turn, Among freed African Americans, the spirit of African kingship was transmitted to the clergy, whom the community viewed as their primary leaders imbued with charismatic powers.

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