Verdict: POST TRAUMATIC SLAVE SYNDROME is a book that offers healing and hope in the face of generations of trauma, hardship, and suffering, building on the courage, grace, and strength of those who survived and thrived despite all.
Dr. Joy DeGruy has decades of practical experience as a psychologist, as well as a lifetime of immersion in the African-American community. In this book, she shares with us many of her ideas about how the African-American community and individuals have been affected painfully by the trauma of slavery, and by the years of segregation, discrimination, lynchings and terror that followed, and how these traumas show themselves in unhealthy behavior patterns even today. She offers contrasting impressions from her experiences in South and West Africa, and her cultural observations there, and suggests ways for African-Americans, particularly young people, to come to grips with their history, learn from their past, and find healthier, happier ways of being in the world.
Dr. DeGruy writes with clarity and firmness, supporting her assertions with both her own personal experience and the more objective, research-based historical and psychological evidence gleaned from her years of study and practice. The book is aimed at an African-American audience, but other readers will also gain much useful and productive food for thought from it. Her writing combines both head and heart – there is solid psychological science and well-researched history here, and also much warmth and deep love for her community, as well as grief for the hardships that have been and are still being inflicted on it, internally and externally. Her goal, however, is not only to point out the damage done by historical wrongs but also to determine how to mend that damage – in large part by facing the past, countering its messages, and working towards a better future for individuals and communities. The advice she offers is sound and thoughtful, and likely to do much good if followed. Her reliance on faith is the only aspect of her advice that may be problematic for some, particularly LGBT people and others sometimes rejected by or damaged by their religious upbringing or community, but she is not particularly sectarian about it and encourages a welcoming, inclusive community both in terms of religious and other differences of opinion, background, and personality.
POST TRAUMATIC SLAVE SYNDROME is a book that offers healing and hope in the face of generations of trauma, hardship, and suffering, building on the courage, grace, and strength of those who survived and thrived despite all.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader