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…the African gods south of the Sahara always had at least two heads, one for evil and one for good. Now people create God in their own image, what they think He - for God is always a “He” in patriarchal societies - what He is like or should be. So the African said, in effect: I am both good and evil; good and evil are the two parts of the thing that is me… (pg. 24; Huey Newton, recorded in Kai Erikson, 1973)

The idea that Black Americans might have been adopting a negative identity was more than just an academic theory for Erikson. In 1971, both Erikson and Huey Newton (who was then known as Supreme Commander of the Black Panther Party) presented talks to the students of Yale University. A short time later, they met again for a series of conversations in Oakland, California, which also included the Black sociologist J. Herman Blake and Erikson’s son, Kai Erikson, also a sociologist (see K. Erikson, 1973). Among many topics, Newton described the revolutionary actions of Black activists at that time as a process, a contradiction between old ways and new ways. Any change, he argued, might be viewed as revolutionary at a particular point in time. Newton went on to describe how the Black community expected him to hate all White people, and how the Black community rejected many of its own because they had too many Caucasian features (such as relatively light skin). He rebelled against this discrimination, just as he did against the oppression that was so inherent in American society. Erikson, for his part, talked mostly about just how difficult it is for people of different backgrounds to understand each other’s perspective. Most important, however, is the act of searching for some basis for understanding one another (K. Erikson, 1973).

In his autobiographical book Revolutionary Suicide (the preparation of which was assisted by J. Herman Blake; Newton, 1973), Newton begins with a tribute to a comrade who was killed in a shootout with the police, while seeking nothing more than what Newton considered the right of all men: dignity and freedom. He then offers a poem, which sounds very much like Taoist philosophy, as well as a search for a greater identity:

By having no family,

I inherited the family of humanity.

By having no possessions,

I have possessed all.

By rejecting the love of one,

I received the love of all.

By surrendering my life to the revolution,

I found eternal life.

Revolutionary suicide.

Huey P. Newton, in Revolutionary Suicide (1973)

Discussion Question: Erikson described the adoption of a negative identity as a serious rejection of one’s expected place in life. Has there been a time in your life when you adopted a negative identity? Do you feel that sometimes it is necessary to adopt a negative identity in order to change the world we live in?

Identity and the Role of the Family - Perspectives from Around the World

Identity is not merely a personal phenomenon, it develops within a cultural context that is passed on through the family. The most important social institutions of the first three stages of development are the mother, then both parents, and finally, the family as a whole. As adults, individuals face not only their own psychosocial crises, but they serve as the parents of the next generation, as their children face the early development crises. Thus, it is important to consider the role that the family plays in general, and the perspectives that can be offered by family psychology .

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Personality theory in a cultural context. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11901/1.1
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