School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Stacey Lilley


forgiveness, unforgiveness, anger, angry Black woman, media, stereotypes


Counseling | Psychology


For generations, the African American community has felt lingering reminders of the oppression of their ancestors. Consequently, this oppression may have inhibited forgiveness or the ability to forgive. Unforgiveness can be expressed in many forms, but most commonly as anger, bitterness, and rage. The American culture depicts the African American woman in the media as an “Angry Black Woman,” neglecting her existence as a pillar to her family and community and the stressors that accompany this role. Research is lacking around forgiveness models using the population of African American women. The purpose of this dissertation is to contribute to the literature for this demographic by guiding African American women in being more forgiving using a psychoeducational workshop implementing the Worthington REACH Forgiveness workshop resources, in the efforts of dispelling the “Angry Black Woman” trope. The research design was completed using a qualitative case study of four African American women, age 18-65, from the eastern region of the United States of America. The data revealed that the participants responded positively to the REACH workshop. Three primary themes emerged from the data analysis: Awareness and Reflection, Validation, and Empathy Repairs Emotional Unforgiveness, as well as five subthemes: Improved Relationships, Perceptions and Social Norms, Passion versus Anger, Acceptance of Self, and Moral Conflicts.