Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing
’When African-Americans accept the deprecating accounts and images portrayed by the media, literature, music and the arts as a true mirror of themselves, we are actually allowing ourselves to be socialized by a racist society.
Evidence of racist socialization can be readily seen when African-American children limit their aspirations’ It can be seen when we use the accumulation of material things as the measure of self-worth and success.
So, in spite of all our forbears who worked to survive and gain their freedom; in spite of the efforts of all those who fought for civil rights’ we are continually being socialized by this society to undervalue ourselves, to undermine our own efforts and, ultimately, to hate ourselves. We are raising our children only to watch America tear them down.
Today, the legacy of slavery remains etched in our souls. Understanding the role the past plays in present attitudes, outlooks, mindsets and circumstances is important if we are to free ourselves from the spiritual, mental and emotional shackles that bind us today, shackles that limit what we believe we can be, do and have. Understanding the Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome plays in our evolution may be the key that helps to set us on the path to well-being.’
’Excerpted from Chapter 5, Slavery’s Children