The book addresses critical information needs for counselors working with Africans, people of African ancestry, or with an African cultural heritage. People of “African ancestry” are individuals whose cultural heritage is rooted in Africa. By implication, an African ancestry identity goes beyond race, skin color, or geographic location to include anyone who proclaims an African selfhood. In this book, the term “counseling people of African ancestry” refers to a way of working with people whose identities are embedded in an African cultural heritage. Having grown up in an African village, and lived in the United States and several other countries, I have observed significant, broad similarities in my cultural assumptions with those of African Americans and other people with an African cultural heritage across the globe. It appeared to me there was some continuity in the underlying cultural values in people of an African cultural heritage that sustained across time and contexts, and that needed to be addressed in the context of help seeking and giving to people of that cultural heritage. This book was written, in part, in response to that perceived need.
Contributors to the book are leading African and Africanist scholars from the African continent, Australia, the European Union, Middle East, and North America and provide the rich perspectives on help seeking, giving, and health from their diverse African cultural heritages. Members of the book's editorial board are renowned Africanist scholars and contributed invaluable insights that shaped the scope of the book.
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