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Abstract

For close to a decade, members of the social work profession, who also were members of a minority race, have been confronting the profession with their perception that social work has not addressed adequately the needs of their racial groups. The fact that members of one group (a minority race) confronted another group (the social work profession) in which they also held membership signaled the strong and serious conflict between a person's identification with two major groups. Whether the two group identifications could find a common ground, became a concern for not only the individual belonging to the two groups, but also for the profession.

Members of minority races, specifically the Black race, brought the conflict to the attention of the profession by'firstly presenting 'demands' to national conferences and then organizing formally into all Black professional organizations. The profession has moved quickly to attest to its openness with respect to the minority races. Professional members, who were also members of racial minorities, were seated on many deliberating bodies of the social work profession. Agencies and schools began recruitment of social workers, students, and teachers from minority races. Social work journals began to find room for articles on issues and problems related to the minority races.

This flurry of 'reactivity', however, obscured the need for systematic analysis of how the potential conflict between the two major group identifications suddenly became a reality and what the conflict meant to the professional and to the profession.

The purpose of this article is to cast some light on the emergence of the overt struggle between the two identifications and how the conflict has been mitigated by social workers of minority races. Specifically, the subject will be pursued by scrutinizing the concern as it has related to Black social workers.

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