Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Gary Howell

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Dixon


The mental health challenges of members of the African diaspora have been a worldwide occurrence for centuries, initially beginning with the transatlantic slave trade. Africans were scattered abroad to different countries and subjected to the severe psychological impact of enslavement. Despite the considerable financial systemic pressure of profit in the slave trade, it caused significant harm to the enslaved Africans and their descendants by erasing Africa's memory and their healing traditions from the hearts and minds of the population. Severe mental health symptoms can arise from oppression and the impact of the African diaspora. This dispersion has left many African Americans with a lack of cultural identity, depression, substance use, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder (Monteiro & Wall, 2011). African descendants from many backgrounds have few cultural-related treatments. This paper explored the mental health consequences that have resulted from the impact of the African diaspora. It reviewed and discussed the literature on Afrocentric Kawaida principles and African dance rituals related to the process of healing and its applicability to people of color. It provided examples of African healing dance practices as a therapeutic aspect of the historical roots in north Africa. The author proposed the potential utility of using Afrocentric dance interventions with an African philosophy-centered framework and examined the concepts that are culturally relevant to aid people of color subjected to oppression from the African diaspora.