Identity Orchestration illustrates the importance of identity balance in behavioral health as seen through a personality psychology lens. The contributors to this collection deeply engage the self and psychological strength by examining race, gender, class, and context with narratives that highlight the asset-based constructs of identity.
David Wall Rice is professor in the Department of Psychology at Morehouse College and principal investigator of the Identity, Art & Democracy Lab.
Part I: The Lab and Storied Identity
Chapter 1: Hip-hop Narratives as a Natural Start
David Wall Rice
Chapter 2: Rakim, Ice Cube then Watch the Throne
Chapter 3: I Stank I Can, I Know I Can, I Will: Songwriting Self-Efficacy
as an Expression of Identity Orchestration
Part II: Self Complexity
Chapter 4: The Theory of Race Self Complexity and Narrative Personality: Is the Meaning of Race Processed Narratively?
Chapter 5: Reflections on Black Women, Family, Offline Archiving and Identity
Chapter 6: Writing Wrongs: Identity Orchestration and Coping in Prison
Chapter 7: From Corporate to Camera: Identity Orchestration and Finding
Mikki Kathleen Harris
Chapter 8: A Picture of James Baldwin Dancing for Freedom: Social Dance And Identity Orchestration
Asha L. French and C. Malik Boykin
Chapter 9: Eleven Days Older Than: Riffs of Reflexivity, Teaching, and the Global Exercise of Being Whole
Part III: Orchestration
Chapter 10: Complicating Black Boys
Chapter 11: Between Shakespeare and Showing Up
William Marcel Hayes
Chapter 12: High-Stakes Orchestration: Understanding Expressions of Identity
and Appeals to Belonging in the College Personal Statement
Chapter 13: Black Boys, “Church” and Supplementary Education, General
David Wall Rice, Brenda Wall, and William Marcel Hayes
Chapter 14: Seeing the Unseen: The Role of Identity on Empathy Modulation
Chapter 15: LeBron James, Personalized Goal Complexity and Identity Orchestration
Jason M. Jones
Part IV: Making Meaning
Chapter 16: The Black Athletic Aesthetic: Fast Thoughts on Sport, Art and the Self as Freedom Work
Chapter 17: Culture in the Age of the Revitalized Athlete Activist: Sports as a Microcosm of Society Post George Floyd
Chapter 18: Running Beyond the Regulation of Sport
Grant Bennett and Micah Holmes
Chapter 19: Love You, Man: Negotiating Racism, Isolation and Vulnerability in Black Male Peer Relationships
Chapter 20: A Worldwide Home
Chapter 21: Crack’s Residue
Donovan X. Ramsey
Chapter 22: A Contemporary Spelman College Social Identity as Motivated by the 2012 Violence Against Women Course Petition
In this volume, Identity Orchestration: Black Lives, Balance and the Psychology of Self Stories, we are nourished by the stunning prose of David Wall Rice who invites us to enter a jazz space of Black lives, stories, and rhythms, riffing and innovating, vulnerable and bold, at Morehouse College. Rice, a theorist-teacher-grandson-father and a psychologist reviews the complexities of lives lived fully, situated in contexts of oppression and joy, rooted in music and story, fed by whispers of love. He, and his colleagues, offer up a rich reservoir of stories narrated by Black artists, musicians, students, activists, teachers, scholars, and everyday people, animated in essays that speak to full and complex persons-in-motion, racialized and gendered, enacting selves through dance and freedom dreams, college and church, basketball and prison, school and love, Shakespeare and Black male friendships, residues of crack and love again. With echoes of Du Bois and Fanon, Rice refuses to turn away from the scar tissue of racism but attends exquisitely to the vibrancy of Black desires, aesthetics and creativity. Honoring young people who are trying always, in the words of Baldwin, ‘to begin again,’ Rice has spawned a radical reimagination for how we understand Black lives in dignity. Read this volume, teach this volume, give this book. You will thank Rice for ‘conducting’ such a provocative orchestra of Black lives and you will cherish Grandpa Buddy for instilling in grandbaby David a sense of wonder, humility, and the joy of inquiry. In the year when the American Psychological Association published an apology for historic racism, this volume is a gift to readers, a gift to psychology, and a gesture toward disciplinary reparations.
As a scholar David Wall Rice is relentlessly, brilliantly engaged with the most pressing concerns in Black life. Here he has brought together a collection of similarly sharp minds to probe vital questions of identity, narrative, and race. We are the stories we tell, as the saying goes, and this volume highlights the simple profundity of that idea.
Identity Orchestration contributes mightily to our understanding of the development and functioning of the human self. It situates its timely revelations in a world that teeters on the edges of breathtaking technological advances and catastrophic social and political unraveling. Professor David Wall Rice, serving as editor and interlocuter, sees that the contributors employ the life stories of African Americans as a lens through which identity and the self are viewed. Rice masterfully and subtly shepherds two additional agendas. He extends the publishing legacy of Reginald L. Jones, also a son of Morehouse College, who in over 20 texts in Black Psychology featured wide arrays of scholarly voices. Jones would be pleased with the interdisciplinary lineup Rice recruits for this volume. Of importance to followers of mainstream psychology, under Rice’s editorship, Identity Orchestration treats topics in personality psychology without losing sight of the person. Professor Rice and his contributors reveal that at their best, psychological studies allow their participants to walk, leap, and dance as whole beings across the printed page. Each chapter of this remarkable book invites us to appreciate the miracle of being human.
Identity Orchestration contributes to and advances the work of interdisciplinary scholars, thought leaders and influencers within and outside of the Academy. Like W.E.B. Du Bois and Kimberle Crenshaw, Rice recognizes the varied ways the development and construction of self must be situated within an understanding of how dominant narratives seek to define us in ways that do not honor the complexities of our lived experiences. The very thoughtful reflections on how we gain meaning and “being” in a world that was not constructed for us as Black people, is powerful and penetrating. The ability of Rice to connect and intersect theoretical frameworks to better understand how race, class and gender inform the day-to-day realities of individuals trying to give meaning to their lives, while imagining a world where their personal and political selves are unfettered by dominant ideological and structural constraints is both instructive and illuminating.