Race and Recognition: Pathways to an Affirmative Black Identity

Helen A. Neville, Brigitte Viard, Lou Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building on the early work of Frantz Fanon, we explored the concept of recognition as an aspect of Black racial identity or the degree of being seen by others and ourselves as equal or morally worthy persons deserving respect. We collected 64 racial life narratives with self-identified Black adults in four contexts: Australia, Bermuda, South Africa, and the United States. We uncovered a core theme of Global Recognition or the desire to be seen as complex Black individuals with rich, diverse lives and innate value as human beings. Two main themes emerged that either promoted (i.e., Racial Recognition and Acceptance) or hindered this sense of Global Recognition (i.e., Lack of Racial Recognition and Acceptance). Each of these themes consisted of two subthemes. In addition, participants described four types of behaviors designed to achieve Global Recognition: Challenging Oppression, Competition, Self-Affirmation, and Racial Performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-271
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 3 2015


  • Black racial identity
  • multinational
  • recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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