You Have the Right to Exclaim Your Pain: Honoring Black Familial Voices Impacted by Police Induced Trauma in the United States

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  • Allen Lipscomb California State University Northridge, Social Work Department



Black families, police induced trauma, Narrative methodology, Black action research


The impetus of this Black Action Research was to explore the lived experiences of Black families exposed to physical assault, emotional abuse, murder, and racial profiling by law enforcement (i.e. police induced trauma). Narrative qualitative methods were selected to conduct this body of research. The study utilized a Critical Race Theoretical orientation as a framework to honor counter-storytelling in understanding these experiences that often go untold, unheard and unnoticed. A total of 10 narratives were shared of which all resided in Los Angeles County and identified as Black/African American. The results that were found after analyzing the narratives revealed the following emergent themes: (a) aggressive racial profiling that goes unchecked, (b) fear for Black men and boys (c) surviving police encounters via avoidance, and (d) predominant conversation of race throughout one’s lifetime. The goal of this article is to speak truth through Black action research methodology in order to bring about recognition, validation and healing.     


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Author Biography

Allen Lipscomb, California State University Northridge, Social Work Department

Allen Eugene Lipscomb, PsyD, LCSW, Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department. His areas of research are centered on the psychiatric epidemiology among racialized and marginalized individuals who have experienced trauma (i.e. complex trauma, traumatic-grief and race-based trauma). Specifically, Dr. Lipscomb has conducted numerous qualitative research studies on racialized Black identified men across the Black/African Diaspora exploring their grief, loss and complex-trauma experiences.


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How to Cite

Lipscomb, A. (2020). You Have the Right to Exclaim Your Pain: Honoring Black Familial Voices Impacted by Police Induced Trauma in the United States. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 7(1), 131–142.



Original Manuscript
Received 2019-09-29
Accepted 2020-05-02
Published 2020-05-18