Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing
by Joy Degruy
In the 16th century, the beginning of African enslavement in the Americas until the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment and emancipation in 1865, Africans were hunted like animals, captured, sold, tortured, and raped. They experienced the worst kind of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse. Given such history, isn't it likely that many of the enslaved were severely traumatized? And did the trauma and the effects of such horrific abuse end with the abolition of slavery?
Emancipation was followed by one hundred more years of institutionalized subjugation through the enactment of Black Codes and Jim Crow laws, peonage, convict leasing, domestic terrorism and lynching. Today the violations continue, and when combined with the crimes of the past, they result in yet unmeasured injury. What do repeated traumas, endured generation after generation by a people produce? What impact have these ordeals had on African Americans today?
Dr. Joy DeGruy, answers these questions and more. With over thirty years of practical experience as a professional in the mental health field, Dr. DeGruy encourages African Americans to view their attitudes, assumptions, and behaviors through the lens of history and so gain a greater understanding of how centuries of slavery and oppression have impacted people of African descent in America.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome helps to lay the necessary foundation to ensure the well-being and sustained health of future generations and provides a rare glimpse into the evolution of society's beliefs, feelings, attitudes and behavior concerning race in America.