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Copy of William Cross: The Negro to Black Conversion Experience
Transcript of Copy of William Cross: The Negro to Black Conversion Experience
Experience: William E. Cross, Jr. Meet Dr. Cross Dr. Cross earned his PhD from Princeton University after receiving his B.A. from Denver University. Both were in Psychology. Theory of Nigrescence Contributions The Basics He has held teaching positions at a number of institutions including Rutgers, Princeton, UMass Amherst, and Cornell. Wrote "Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identity", a work that has remained a fixture in studies on Black identity. the process of becoming Black A Model to conceptualize the process of becoming
black How? Of Whom? For what purpose? (Analyzing and prioritizing experiences as his methodology) First himself, then other Black people "..until I began to see what was really happening to Black people" To create developmental theories and personality
constructs that promote and lead to eventual liberation
of Black people from (Western) oppression. 5 stages of development The Process 1. Pre-encounter "The pre-encounter person's historical perspective distorts Black history. It is believed that Black people came from a strange, uncivilized, "dark" continent, and that the search for Black history begins in 1865-that slavery was a civilizing experience" "politically naive" "dependent on white leadership" "romanticize hustling" Encounter "Some experience that manages to slip by or even shatters the person's current feeling about himself and his interpretation of the conditions of Blacks in America" Dr. Cross'
encounter -> Immersion-Emersion "Everything is blackness at the immersion stage" Pride in blackness vs. Dehumanizing whites Internalization "Cosmologically, the person is unchanged, yet psychologically and spiritually the person is significantly different" "His world-view remains the same--still very American" "Our audience is not automatically enlightened, but is now captive" Internalization-Commitment "attitudes toward white people become less hostile, or at least
realistically contained" "he or she is committed to a plan...actively trying
to change his or her community" Why Dr. Cross and his work matters Dr. Cross and his model of nigrescence continued the work of those who wrote and spoke about what it meant to be Black and came before him. His work not only laid a an important foundation for Black identity psychology, but it also proved to be a relevant, practical, and accessible framework for individual and collective change. Haters in the building....(Critics) While simultaneously receiving a great deal of praise--Cross and his work have been critiqued by a number of scholars The most common critiques of the model have focused on: An inability to operationalize
the stages of development. Having a neatly-arranged
model with clearly defined steps A true scholar In response to his critics, evolution
in personal thoughts, and access to
empirical research, Cross revised
his model in 1991 and 1995. Notable changes included a scale (CRIS-Cross Racial Identity Scale) to
allow for measurment and operationalization
of identities as well as more specific descriptions of the various stages of development. Change Matters (by way of self-analysis and interviews with other folks). By being open to revision, Dr. Cross not only balanced
his theory with the demands of research, he also made it
possible for his model to remain relevant. Personal and collective reflections on Black Identity, and the psychology of Black Identity continues to be a need in all communities. Dr. Cross provided the framework for introspection, understanding, discourse, and eventual change in ourselves and within our communities. A model to understand References Vandiver, Beverly J. Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development; Jul 2001; 29, 3; ProQuest Psychology Journals
pg. 165 Ladner, J. A. (1973). The death of white sociology, ([1st ed.). New York: Random House.