Haitian and Haitian American experiences of racism and socio-ethnic discrimination in Miami-Dade County: youth at risk and brought to justice
This article was originally published here
Familiarization process. 2022 Mar 10. doi: 10.1111/famp.12764. Online ahead of print.
We examine how youth of Haitian descent involved in juvenile justice in Miami-Dade County deal with structural racism and its impact on their mental health. Drawing on longitudinal ethnography, psychosocial assessment data, and a family clinical intervention funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, this article explores young people’s narratives of discrimination before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. We use critical race theory and practice theory to understand perceptions of young people as racialized bodies and stigmatized selves, highlighting the experiences and perspectives of a particular black immigrant group, ethnic beings caught up in the daily practices of racialization, socio-cultural marginalization and racism. We frame these experiences as one variation of the complex continuum of structural racism and racial domination in the United States. These experiences have caused anger, fear, anxiety, chronic anticipatory distress, and despair among young people of Haitian descent. We conclude with some recommendations for therapeutic support that encourages young people to process their experiences, promotes their development of a positive self-concept, and provides them with mind-body techniques to lessen the physical impacts of discriminatory events. The clinical trial registration number for this study intervention is NCT03876171.