Freeing Black People From Oppressive Mental Health Care

June 15, 2022

In this Juneteenth Thought Project episode, we talk to Britton Williams about the Black MAP Project and reinventing mental health care for the Black community.

A headshot of Britton Williams floating on a dark blue background

Just over 100 years ago, a white mob lynched and mutilated Mary Turner, a Black woman who was eight months pregnant, for criticizing the lynching of her husband. How did Turner’s family and community heal from this horror? Britton Williams, a Social Welfare doctoral student at the CUNY Graduate Center, explores that question and related ones through the Black MAP Project.

Williams joins this Juneteenth episode of The Thought Project to talk about the Black MAP Project and her research into the ways that Black people have promoted their own mental health and well-being. She plans to use her findings to refashion mental health care so that it serves Black people, free from the bias and oppression that have pervaded the field.

“Enslaved peoples who sought freedom through escape were once labeled with a disorder termed drapetomania,” she writes on the website. “Black people’s drive and desire for freedom was pathologized. This is only one example of the ways in which Black people have been oppressed under the guise of ‘treatment.’”

Listen in to learn how Williams envisions mental health care that reflects and supports the Black community.

CUNY Graduate Center · Freeing Black People From Oppressive Mental Health Care

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