TRIOS is comprised of attitudes, beliefs and values about time, rhythm, improvisation, orality and spirituality. It is proposed that TRIOS represents the cultural foundation of an African legacy for African Americans and provides a means of coping with slavery and various forms of racism over time. TRIOS is a model for the dual processes of self-protective and self-enhancing motivations for targets who must live in a universal context of racism. TRIOS is described as a context-dependent theory of being-in-the-world, as opposed to doing-in-the-world. Evidence for the origins of TRIOS elements in African and Caribbean culture is presented. A scale to measure TRIOS is described and evidence for racial/ethnic differences shows that African Americans score higher than other racial/ethnic groups. The implications of TRIOS for psychological well-being of African Americans and a wide array of future research questions are discussed.