Psychological nigrescence was developed by William Cross to show the stages that individuals traverse in becoming black-oriented. Created in 1971, the concept essentially suggested the orientation of a black person from self-hating due to low self-esteem to self-healing due to conceptualization of the steps of the model. Research shows that African American self-esteem changes very minimally during the stages of articulation of the model. Cross defined the nigrescence model as the transformation from a preexisting identity into an Afrocentric. This revised model has five main stages, which include the pre-encounter, encounter, immersion/emersion, internalization and commitment. During the encounter stage, one is unaware of racial implications, while the occurrence of racial awareness comes in the encounter stage. The immersion stage is where one is in response to racial encounter, while the emersion stage is one where one tries to get out of immersions. The final stage is where one reaches for a balance. The paradoxical model that works against this model is the White identity development theory devised by Helm. This essay identifies Malcolm-X, an African American, and his stages in the nigrescence model and the implications therein.
While considering the life of Malcolm-X, it is important to note that he existed in the pre-encounter stage. His encounter with racism was more rampant, with historical information indicating that he was fighting off the racist feelings. After his incarceration, he developed a very strong disgust for the whites. Consequently, the incarceration made him develop liking of the blacks to which he belonged; he even changed his name to illustrate this. His life truly depicted the trend stipulated in Cross’s theory (Greene 142). His trip to Mecca made him change his attitudes towards anything white at this time. It would have put him into the internalization stage, but his assassination prevented him from reaching the internalization-commitment stage.
What Malcolm-X faced was beyond reprisal, until he had to refer to himself as a chameleon, meaning that he could accommodate his appearance to the nature surrounding him. However, this model can even serve students that are currently undergoing racial discrimination (Ware and Johnson 112).
The challenge that Malcolm-X suffered was embedded with the interpretation of the black people in America. He died from the commitment to an action plan that could decrease oppression against the black. Despite Malcolm X’s demise, “a life of reinvention still sparks out the true fight that he had initiated (Greene 85). Consequently the book still does what he pioneered and, in case of a move to higher levels of the model, it would have been from the efforts he initiated. This means that it is not possible to categorize the level of the model where Malcolm-X belonged.
In conclusion, the model depicts a real-life situation, which spans from identification to problem solution. There have been modifications and expansions to the theory, which utilizes the forum for sanity in racial parity. Malcolm-X is a signatory to the fight for challenges, although he died while in preen-counter. The book A Life of Reinvention could have sparked his ambition to reach the realm of this model, but critics argue that it engages in meaningless speculation concerning the personal sexual life of Malcolm-X. The speculations have been fronted to downplay the real intention, considering that the book reveals that Malcolm-X was homosexual. Nonetheless, he died with full knowledge that this discrimination would reach the commitment stage of the model, which is a stage of full articulation in ways of life without parity emanating from races.
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