This morning I read that Hip Hop Mogul Sean "Ditty" Combs is interested in buying the Carolina Panthers NFL Football Team and NBA Superstar Stephen Curry tweeted that he wanted in as a partial owner. Ditty said that he would hire quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whom many believe has not been offered a contract to play quarterback in the NFL because he spoke out against police brutality directed towards African Americans (click here to read the blog post, Don't Talk: Implications for Counseling African Americans With Substance Use Disorders).
When I read the story this morning I felt an immediate sense of hope. In my lifetime I have witnessed African Americans go from barely owning anything to being in position to own a professional football teams just as Michael Jordan owns an NBA Basketball team and Irving "Magic" Johnson is part owner of the LA Dodgers baseball team.
This story brings to mind an important ingredient of recovery for African American's, hope! African American seeking recovery, especially the urban poor, face an existential concern, "Even if I stop using drugs, how do I succeed in a world that does not appear to be made for me?" The other inspiring aspect of the story is that Stephen Curry is willing to partner with Ditty and Ditty is willing to hire Colin Kaepernick. This is a story of African American men being willing to work together and look out for each other.
During one of the Tavis Smiley’s think tanks, African American Sociologist from Harvard University shared research that revealed that African Americans have the highest church attendance on Sundays and experience the most isolation on Monday, compared with other cultural groups. In the study participants were asked, "if you were in a crisis, how many people could you rely on to help you?" African Americans listed the fewest number of people whom they could rely on in a crisis. Just as hope is an important need in recovery, so is community.
For Addictions counselors reading this blog post, there are two questions for you. "What are you doing to instill hope in recovery in African American Clients? Specifically clients who are economically poor. What are you doing to help break isolation and help clients experience a sense of community in recovery?"