Philadelphia Therapist Offers Recovery Program for People Who Use the N-Word Too Much

The Bryn Mawr grad says Grammy nominees Jay-Z and Kanye West are addicted.

This week, Philadelphia social worker and family therapist Abena Afreeka announced her “Nigga Recovery Program.” The Bryn Mawr College and Drexel University graduate says it’s time to do something about the “addiction” to the N-word that she sees in so many black people today, and she says she has the answer.

Please explain your work, which, if you don’t mind, I will refer to as the N-word Recovery Program.
I have put together a program of recovery that is uniquely designed with the African in mind, based on the unique experience of early and ongoing adversity. The Nigga Recovery Program is uniquely designed with the rap artist in mind, specifically the rap artist of African descent, those addicted to the use of the word “nigger.”

How long have you been working on it?
Over 10 years. It is especially important right now with the Grammy nomination that makes use of the term. As I understand it, the song by Jay-Z and Kanye West “Niggas in Paris” is nominated for two Grammy Awards. It is certainly a precedent to have it as a viable candidate for the Grammy, using a word that has such a historically offensive background.

It’s 2013, and a lot of black people use that word today. So what’s wrong with it?
Because people of African descent have never engaged in the process of healing for experiences and effects of those experiences that came out of that term, continued use of the term without attending to deep emotional wounds is irresponsible on the part of all parties involved. So I’ve developed this program, and am asking other folks of African descent, and Jay and Kanye, asking them and inviting them to engage in the process of recovery.

And what is that process?
They will meet with me in a group. It’s a group intervention. There would also be some individual work. They would complete a cultural genogram, they would learn to understand their relationships, their history, they would work to learn and understand self. This is substance abuse, the substance being using the N-word. And many of them are benefiting from using that substance.

Is this similar to treating other forms of substance abuse?
Yes, it is rooted and grounded in theories of addiction science, theories of trauma, in terms of what is the source of problem and how to address it.

How long will treatment take and how much does it cost?
As with most treatment for folks in mental and behavioral health, treatment time varies. You start with where the person is, assess and go from there. The cost is on a sliding fee scale. Rap artists like Kanye and company would be expected to give more.

On your Twitter profile, you describe yourself as being “enslaved.” Are all black people enslaved? Even rich, powerful black people?
Yes. We are all enslaved to European culture, having been forced to practice European culture and style. We are all enslaved. People of African descent experience domestic abuse and political terror at the hands of people of European descent. We live in a world of white lunacy.

I noticed that you offer African repatriation assistance on your website.
For people of African descent, this is a good thing. It’s a new starting place in our efforts to reclaim and recover our own cultural legacy and be connected with a land base that is uniquely ours.

And is Abena Afreeka your legal name?
No, it is not. My legal name is Joanie McCollum. I was born on a Tuesday, and in the Akan tradition, they name based on the day of the week. Tuesday-born females are Abena. It is my recovery name.

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  • Jackie

    What power and conviction are in this reading. I just PRAY to God that, those whom it describes will take heed and read and began to practice this Program…So very proud of the person who begun this program, I also PRAY that she will receive all the credit for this PROGRAM.

  • Wil Jackson

    omg another nigger that thinks whites enslaved them…..truth is we were sold by our own people…we hate each other, we kill each other….yes we need to evolve more….

    • Abena Afreeka

      “Even with the multiple conversations and ambient noise I heard Officer Magana call an indivdual a nigger again. Now that I had confirmed it, I told Magana not to use that word again. I explained that it was a well
      known offensive word that should not be used by anyone. He replied, “I’ll say it when I want”. Officer Burdios, a friend of his, also stated that he would
      say nigger when he wanted. At that point I jumped over my front passenger seat and two other officers where I placed my hands around Burdios’ neck and
      squeezed. I stated to Burdios, “Don’t fucking say that”. At that point there was pushing and shoving and we were separated by several other officers. What I
      should have done…” C. Dorner

    • http://www.facebook.com/truthminista Min. Paul Scott

      If you really study the slave trade you will see a distinct difference between the two. I suggest you read Walter Rodney’s book “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.

  • http://twitter.com/YourBro_Adika E. Adika Ekunsirinde

    Great job Sis. Abena!

    • http://www.facebook.com/AbenatheTraumaQueen Abena Afreeka

      Thank You E. Adika Ekunsirinde!