Throughout his career, Cross was largely concerned with racial/ethnic identity theory and the negative effects of Western thought and science on the psychology of Black Americans, and specifically the need for “psychological liberation under conditions of oppression.” Here, he met Badi Foster, who would later become his best man and lifelong friend and mentor.While at DU, Cross seriously questioned his religious beliefs and eventually denounced God because he couldn’t explain slavery or the Holocaust.The encounter stage is marked by two processes: (1) an experience that challenges the pre-encounter individual’s pro-White/anti-Black world-view, and (2) a reinterpretation of one’s racial identity as a result of this experience.At this stage, a Black person finds support in the search for a Black identity and makes the conscious decision to identify with being Black.
Cross is one of the most frequently cited names in the Black racial identity literature.
Self Development Lab (SDL) Research Projects and Assistants: The Self Portrait Project 2010-2011 Chloe Levine and Emily Parker 2011-2012 Laura Chung, Angela Cammack, Jessica Flori and Sarah Owen 2013-2014 Maria Rios Brache and Alicia Alvarez 2014-2015: Multicultural Psychology Textbook Alice Mo, Alicia Alavarez, Ambar Mc Field, Chloe Sarapas, Maria Rios Brache, and Tyler Hicks Fhagen, P. The relationship between parents’ racial identity attitudes and their adolescent children’s perception of physical appearance, racial identity and social adjustment.
Meaning making, internalized racism and African American identity.
Cross’s interest in the identity of African Americans came, in part, out of the segregated social context of the times in which he grew up.
He was the fourth child and first son of William and Margaret Cross; his father was a Pullman porter, a job that was steady and resulted in economic security, and his mother worked at different times as a maid and a factory worker.