Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work

Document Type



This study examines the historical coping and survival strategies of African American women - as reflected through the works of Nannie Helen Burroughs- that can be integrated into current social work practice. This research is important because is describes, explores and analyzes culturally relevant helping traditions, among African American women that have historically promoted their emotional and psychological well-being. An analysis of methods used by Burroughs was derived from articles, letters, speeches and minutes from various convention meetings. Also, a variety of secondary sources were also used during the research process. Results from the study are important in that they support the impact of Black women's experiences as a central component to their psychological health particularly in four distinct areas: understanding and appreciation historical oppression in reform efforts; developing and exploring critical awareness/critical consciousness; promoting collective resistance through faith and demonstrating group problem solving through community art and dialogue. Recommendations from this study include the need for social work profession to validate and disseminate the importance of using non-traditional practice methods when working with oppressed groups. This also includes the professions' employment of Black religious practice/Black church institutions in promoting social and economic reform.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Brij Mohan

Included in

Social Work Commons