There are many areas of this subject that are in need of more extensive research in order to more adequately deal with the problems involves. One example of this can be seen in the fact that, "Black women are three times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy, and twice as many black babies as white babies die in infancy." (Why do African-American women have more pregnancy problems?)the literature notes that there has been very little research on why these figures should be so high among African-American females. This is one of the many areas that require more extensive research and study with regard to this particular minority group.
Another instance of this lack of research is in the area of partner violence and abuse. Studies have shown that partner violence is high among African-American couples and that "...despite the burgeoning empirical literature on partner violence, few investigations have been conducted on the role of partner violence among women of color and women from disadvantaged backgrounds.... " (Thompson et al., 2000, p. 127)
The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers states that, "Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living." (Code of Ethics) This view relates to the above research in that social workers should consider the various problems that African-American women experience in the light of their relationship to their social milieu and the various pressures and problems that they have to deal with.
This relates especially to the racial issues and the forms of oppression that they have been subjected to. This aspect is emphasized in the NASW Code of Ethics, which states that social workers should "...promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients. " Furthermore, social works are "...sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty, and other forms of social injustice. (Code of Ethics)
There is a plethora of information and resource material that can be accessed about the various aspects and problems experienced by this minority group.
Besides the research studies on this group, there are a number of Web sites that provide up-to-date information and articles that would be useful to the social worker. A useful site is Social Moments in the United States, 1600-2000 (www.binghamton.edu/womhist/links/projlink.htm) This site " (http://www.binghamton.edu/womhist/links/projlink.htm) This site provides a number of links to historical information on human rights and minority group in America. Another informative site is African-American Women. Online Archival Collections. Special Collections Library, Duke University. (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/collections/african-american-women.html) notable site that also provides insight into the African-American female experience is Notable Women in Black History (http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blbio_list_afram.htm)
This site has an extensive range of information and biographical material on African-American women who have made a difference in their society and culture and this information also provides insight into the various problems that they experience.
In conclusion, there is littler doubt that this minority group is one which faces unique and often extreme problems, largely as a result of discrimination and racial prejudice. This is also exacerbated by their influential and important position within the particular family and cultural framework. The relative paucity of research on some areas of African-American female experience is an area of concern for the social worker, as this group should be one which receives more attention and assistance.
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Thompson, M.P., Kaslow, N.J., Kingree, J.B., Rashid, a., Puett, R., Jacobs, D., et al. (2000). Partner Violence, Social Support and Distress among Inner-City African-American Women . American Journal of Community Psychology, 28(1), 127. Retrieved October 5, 2006, from Questia database: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=5001753043
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