In the Black Helping Tradition, spirituality is the sense of the sacred and divine. It is a critical value deeply rooted in the African worldview and used by African Americans as a tool for survival. Provocative and well-written, Spirituality and the Black Helping Tradition in Social Work is the first book to draw a relationship between social work, spirituality, and the helping tradition among African Americans. Offering a wealth of historical detail and narrative, Elmer and Joanne Martin explore spirituality as a foundation for understanding people of African descent and as a skill to evoke self-help. This groundbreaking book raises compelling questions about the limitations and strengths of mainstream social work in issues of black spirituality and its role in strengthening the black community today.
• Examines the interaction between African and African American spirituality, African American social workers, and race work
• Chronicles the stories of early black caregivers and social workers who recognized the significance of spirituality and incorporated it into their work
• Investigates the extent to which social workers today are equipped to use spirituality to empower black individuals, families, and communities