I sat in at a Jam Session and didn't feel good about my performance. Sometimes it's difficult to feel the groove with a crew of musicians who may not be listening to the singer in order to know where the progression is going - even after you give it to them before you start. Thank goodness I play the bass and they had to move with me Anyhow, I cut the song short. But, when I came off stage, several musicians and non-musicians came up to me and gave measurable responses of how they liked the performance.…Read more
Healing Racism with the Blues Problem Solving Method
History of the Blues Problem Solving Method
The blues was born out of the African slave experience. It began on the slave ships; integrated into the songs of field workers, and men on chain gangs, and evolved into the various forms of blues today.
Blues lyrics revolved around the pain and suffering from the separation and loss, troubled intimate relationships and racism caused by slavery.
The Blues Problem Solving Method evolved as the lyrics described the problems the slaves faced, contemplated solutions, and vowed to move on from the pain and suffering.
This led to the 3 stage Blues Problem Solving Method of Moaning: determine the problem at hand, Mourning: create an intervention to resolve the intensity of the problem at hand and, Morning: delineate a plan for long-term sustainability of the solution to the problem at hand.
1. MOANING: Problem Identification
People all over the world are sick and tired of America treating its' Black citizens like their lives don't matter.
As slaves, Black Americans were subjected to forced labor and forced sex backed by violence, degradation and intimidation. Their families were separated; they endured varied forms of abuse and exploitation for generations, witnessed quasi freedom without resources, and experienced disenfranchisement.
Slaves witnessed extremely violent accounts of rape, beatings, verbal abuse, forced Christianity, and oppression. Post slavery, Black Americans are still denied access to employment, sufficient wages, quality education, adequate healthcare, equal housing, environmental respect, financial literacy, etc. A high percentage of the group has a low quality of life.
There are centuries of documentation to support the negative effects of slavery on Blacks in American. With so much information, we must be cautious not to get stuck in Moaning. It is so easy to identify the problems. It takes ethical teamwork to move to the solution focused stage of Mourning and assure that all sides of the issue are clearly assessed and planned for.
2. MOURNING: Solution Focused
To heal from slavery we must look to correct its' effects on the major areas that guide behaviors in individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations and the world. These areas are biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual. Each of these categories has subcategories that need to be addressed.
Black Americans have been negatively affected by slavery in each of these areas. Hence the need for clear understand of the effects and a teamwork approach to resolution.
Once professionals and laypeople come together to identify the problems related to the Black experience in America, they must categorize and prioritize them to determine which professions will create goals to resolve them, activities to accomplish the goals, and measures to determine the efficacy of their collective efforts.
Teams are encouraged to use the following definitions and methods to determine where each member fits into the resolution puzzle and what additional members to include. Teams should be composed of diverse membership.
Biological involves the complementary biological and demographic determinants of and interactions between the birth and death processes that shape individuals, cohorts and populations. It includes behavior affected by genetic variation, biological variation related to climate and other elements of the natural environment, risk for degenerative disease and infectious disease, human growth and development, and biodemography.
Psychological provides an understanding of how phenomena such as perception, cognition, emotion, and personality behaviors affect interpersonal relationships and issues of daily life
Sociological informs how and why human behavior is affected by participation in families, groups, communities and organizations, the structure, patterns, relations and interactions among agencies and institutions, population size or type, criminal behavior and deviance, social stratification, government and laws, race and gender
Spiritual provides an understanding of how the unknown or unseen affects ones understanding of the meaning of life and how one should behave based on that understanding
HEALING RACISM USING THE BLUES PROBLEM SOLVING METHOD
MOANING (Problem Definition)
- Explore Background Information
What, When, Why, How Long, Intensity
- Effect on the person, family, friends, colleagues, or institutions
- Effect of separation and loss on the issue
- Effect of troubled intimate relationships on the issue (family & friends)
- Effect of racism on the issue (personal, professional, policy, practice)
- Effect on the immediate community
- Effect on Black people as a whole
- Identify collective patterns related to the problem (individual, family, group, community, organization, and the world)
- Examine past individual interventions (past and present
- Examine collective alternatives (new and previously used)
- Create Assessment Instruments
- Create specific and measurable strategies that describe what is to be done, by whom, how, when, how long, how often and the intensity
- Incorporate healing strategies from diverse worldviews such as Indiancentric, Africentric, Asiacentric, Eurocentric
- Include eclectic interventions for everyone effected by the issue (person, family, friends, colleagues, community, organizations and Black people as a whole)
MOURNING (Solution Focused)
- Reframe individual problems in the context of the group
- Implement mainstream best practices and alternative interventions
- Provide continuous encouragement
- Delineate criteria to evaluate growth
- Measure effect of the interventions used for the problem and subproblems
- Make plans to celebrate growth – short & long-term – individual & collective
- Set date for ending interventions
- Write follow-up plans to include dates, times, location, contact methods, etc.
- Engage community through follow-up, social advocacy, and/or political action
- Schedule/keep dates for continuous follow-up on expected behavior change
- Extend and reinforce hope when the focus slips back into Moaning
- Provide continuous, tangible celebrations of accomplishments
- Engage the community through follow-up, social advocacy, or political action