African-American Traditional Healing Beliefs and Practices in the United States
Parks, Fayth M.; University of South Carolina
The diagnosis and treatment of psychological distress with ethnic minority clients require clinicians understand the role that culture and ethnicity play when non-western based beliefs and practices used. African-Americans have mainstrained for generations traditional folk beliefs and practices for healing physical illness and psychological distress. This system, grounded in West African traditions, is known, among other names as rootmedicine. Transforming West African cultural traditions and adopting to New World conditions, rootmedicine was developed as a response to the need for social structure for enslaved africans during the 18th and 19th centuries. It is a system the integrates West African culture and religions, Native American and European folk traditions, and Christian religious expression. Rootsmedicine offers explanation for misfortune and illness and a means by which those who believe can gain conrol over forces affecting their lives.