Hello Ebony. There is an EXCELLENT piece by M.E. Hart in Mike Lew's Leaping Upon the Mountains that discusses race. It's on pages 26-32 in the paperback edition. I'll type out a few paragraphs so you can have an idea of how well-written and thought-provoking it is: (the typos, of course, will be mine)...
A Person of Color: Overcoming Barriers to Group Participation
by M.E. Hart, Attorney-at-Law
I am an African-American male whose sexual abuse, perpetrated by multiple abusers, began at age four and lasted for fifteen years. The camaraderie and understanding of the support groups I worked with over a three-year period helped me rebuild my self-esteem and regain control of my life.
During my recovery, however, I noticed a troubling trend. I was, in most cases, the only African-American in the groups I attended. Other African-Americans would not stay in the groups for more than three or four meetings. In response, I immediately began reaching out to persons of color when they would first come to a meeting. I tried to be supportive and encourage each to continue in the program. In most cases, I was not successful.
As a former Legal Advisor to the Director of the Office of Human Rights in Washington, D.C., and an avid student of civil rights, I have spent well over ten years studying and specializing in discrimination and race relations as it applies to employment and other opportunities for people of color. When I began group work, in 1987, to advance my recovery process, I was initially surprised at the extent that race affected that process as well.
In professional settings, I could objectively evaluate cultural differences and keep my emotions separate--or so my legal training led me to believe. But when issues of race intimately affected my recovery process, I could not move forward until I put those issues in their historical perspective in relation to events in my life.
From my experiences, and in discussion with other African, Latin, or Caribbean survivors, I have identified barriers that persons of color may have to overcome to reap the full benefits of group participation in the recovery process. These barriers may arise through having to face OUR own EXTERNAL and INTERNAL prejudices....
M.E. Hart has also written a first-person account that can be found at:
Be careful, this could trigger some people.
I hope this helps!