Why everyone should understand ‘racial trauma’ right now

Why everyone should understand 'racial trauma' right now

Racial trauma is what happens when a Black man like Jacob Blake is shot seven times in the back by a police officer. It’s how a Black person’s heart and mind may seize upon seeing the video of the recent attack in Kenosha, Wisconsin, or reading about it in the news. They may feel increasingly jittery, exhausted, or numb, fearful they or a loved one will meet the same fate. 

These psychological wounds are both direct and vicarious: Someone who experiences racism or racially-motivated violence suffers, as do those who bear witness to such harm. 

The concept of racial trauma, or race-based stress, is decades old but has emerged as a mainstream idea in the months since George Floyd‘s death. It affects people of color and Indigenous people, sometimes dramatically altering the path of their life. Some may be resilient, seek healing, recover, and even experience post-traumatic growth. Others will continue to struggle. Regardless of those individual outcomes, the pervasiveness of racial trauma means that it also shapes our relationships, culture, and politics, even if some haven’t known what to call it.  Read more…

More about Racism, Mental Health, Social Good, Activism, and Identities

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