Hope, Resilience, and African-American Spirituality

  • Kean Baxter
  • Morgan M. MedlockEmail author
  • Ezra E. H. Griffith
Part of the Current Clinical Psychiatry book series (CCPSY)


Spirituality is a significant source of strength and coping within the African-American community, and it is an effective buffer against the effects of racism and oppression. While diverse faith traditions have intersected with African-American culture throughout history, this chapter focuses on the role of Christianity, and specifically the black church, in shaping individual and collective resilience in the face of social hostility. In addition to exploring the spiritual role of the church in African-American life, the chapter explores the clinical utility of religious involvement through an analysis of the church as a supportive structure for individuals and communities. We discuss strategies for incorporating spirituality into mental health care, thereby empowering clinicians to address an important, but often neglected, aspect of African-American identity.


Spirituality Religion African Americans Mental health Black church Religious coping Hope Resilience 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kean Baxter
    • 1
  • Morgan M. Medlock
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ezra E. H. Griffith
    • 3
  1. 1.TherapistWashington, DCUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesHoward University HospitalWashington, DCUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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