Book Review: Blackness Interrupted: Black Psychology Matters

“Ethnic minorities are more likely to experience risk factors such as poverty and poor health that ultimately spark mental health issues. Yet, only 1 in 3 African Americans who need mental health care receives it. “

Tamera Gittens & Nicόl Osborne

Blackness Interrupted: Black Psychology Matters is a book that addresses the gaps in psychology in relation to the Black experience. This book covers the steps to becoming a therapist, the need for more diverse, inclusive, and equitable mental healthcare for Black Americans, Black Psychology history, and self-care tips. This books is important to me because I believe that everyone should have access to individualized healthcare, including mental health.

This book was eye-opening and inspiring. As a Black woman from the rural, Deep South, I have first-hand experience with the racist and sexist barriers to obtaining adequate and higher education. I have also seen the impact of the inaccurate mental health stigma in our community. Blackness Interrupted: Black Psychology Matters put words to my own experiences and the experiences of other Black Americans. I think everyone should read this book regardless of their background. I believe one should know this knowledge, and they may connect with a mentioned topic.

I do not have extensive psychological training, but as a primary health care provider, the knowledge given in this book can help guide me towards more diverse, inclusive, and equitable care for my patients. More so, I think this book would be beneficial to all health care providers, mental health providers,  therapists, or anyone who remotely or directly deals with the mental health of Black Americans.  It was alarming to see the lack of therapists of color in America, yet people of color tend to need the services often due to several societal constructs. These societal constructs are often not understood by those who are have not lived with similar upbringings. Therefore, there is a need for more Black therapists and therapists of color to service people with their similar backgrounds.

I enjoyed the history of Blacks who made an impact on psychology. These short history lessons were enough to support the need for expanded textbooks beginning in primary schools.

Overall, I encourage you to read this book. I learned so much, but I do not want to spoil it for you. In closing, as mentioned in the book, ” Do not be afraid to ask questions and research more about the assessments you are given.” Take charge of your health care, ask questions, and seek help.

*I was given this book for free to review by the authors.

You can purchase the book on Kindle or Paperback below.

Peace, Love, & Light,

Meet the Authors: Tamera Gittens & Nicόl Osborne

Tamera Gittens was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 5, 1994, enveloped by her family’s Trinidadian culture. Tamera was first introduced to the mental health field at the age of 15 when she obtained a job at Downstate Hospital with her father through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College and then obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling at New York University. She worked as a School Counselor at a middle school for three years, where she advocated for students to help eliminate all barriers to ensure positive and successful school years. Through social-emotional, academic, and career development, she helped her students excel and reach their full potential right in time for high school. She is currently at Medaille College finishing up her second Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and works as a Behavior Specialist, identifying and assisting individuals and families in accessing needed preventive and primary health care services as well as evaluating patient outcomes and progress toward achieving objectives and goals of the care plan. Tamera’s passion and drive has only increased as she works in the field, creating a safe space for Black narratives in therapy.

Nicόl Osborne was born in Brooklyn, New York, on January 8, 1994. She is of Trinidadian and Grenadian descent. Nicόl was first introduced to the mental health field as a child; her favorite show was “House”. While Dr. House was a genius medical doctor, his personality was self-destructive, and that fascinated Nicόl that he could be analytical and logical but extremely unstable. Nicol obtained two Associate degrees; A.S in Pre Med Biology and A.A in Psychology at OCCC. Nicόl obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College and then obtained her Master’s degree in Social Work at Fordham University. Nicόl is currently working on a PsyD doctorate in clinical psychology at Southern California University. She worked as a Social Worker for three years at JASA; in a community guardianship program under Article 81 guardianship laws appointed by the Supreme Court in Manhattan, NY. Her duties consisted of an in-home and in-office assessment of adult clients’ social and emotional needs with the assistance of other social work and/or other professional consultants. She conducted individual and family counseling and guidance in resolving the client’s problems. Nicόl is currently working as a Researcher helping with the COVID-19 pandemic and as a Therapist. She is currently obtaining her predoctoral hours (Practicum and Internship) in Hawaii; she hopes to conduct her postdoctoral hours there as well.

*taken from Amazon author page

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Family Nurse Practitioner pursuing a life of research and education by earning a Ph.D. in Nursing. Passionate about wellness, music, books, and sleep. Alabama born and raised. UAB Alum & Grad Student.

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