By Evette D. Champion
Have you ever heard of the term, “#Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome?” It is a series of books that was written by #Dr. Joy DeGruy that explores the impact #slavery had on today’s #African American community.
The following is an excerpt from a presentation DeGruy held about #Post Traumatic Stress Disorder within the community:
“As you move on there’s this illusion of inclusion that never occurred. So now we ask the question, is there still segregation? Don’t you know there’s something called the hood, right? So you go into any city, you go, ‘where are the #black people’? They’re in the hood, everybody knows where the hood is, still there’s no signs that say; ‘next right, hood!’”
According to DeGruy, if you do not understand something, you simply cannot fix it.
Through her presentations, she uses cognitive dissonance to show how it was okay to dehumanize black people by using science, religion, the law, and politics. She is known for meshing facts found in history with anecdotes people today can understand. By using this combination, she is able to explore the psychological continuity of the “symptoms of pathology from slavery.”
She is a firm believer that if the topic of slavery and the effects it has even today, you are “erasing the issue” and thus “erasing me.” This brought on a whole new culture where the denial of slavery morphed into this extreme “tolerance” where people claim, “I don’t see your race” or “I don’t care what color you are.” These thoughts translate into people not facing reality.
Usually when people are suffering from #PTSD, it is due to one or two traumatic events. This alone is enough to scar, but imagine centuries of this? There is no way your children, grandchildren, friends, and neighbors will not be affected.
What Dr. DeGruy writes about in her books sheds some much needed light on the subject. While some people may believe that it is possible to not be affected by this “slavery syndrome,” it is not possible. While it may not be in a direct response to it, members of the African American community may experience an over-the-top startled reaction, fits of rage, inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, feeling like they do not see a bright future for themselves, and even a type of emotional volatility that affects every aspect of their life.