It’s quite sad when you try to speak and all that comes out are mere whispers. No clear sounds.
Anxiety and fear keep the words down your throat and force you into a tempered silence.
You’re scared that when your voice rings out in a thunderous bellow, you could be misunderstood and your actions, misinterpreted. You are cautious because you know that expressing your thoughts might be the death of you.
What do you do then?
Do you become desperate to make yourself heard or you start lose the will to continue trying because of the feeling of self-doubt, depression, aggression towards these social grades?
Perhaps these have been the struggles of the Blacks and the Black American race for a good number of years- centuries maybe.
Results of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
The effects of post traumatic slave syndrome are both social and psychological.
The Social Effects
Even when Africans gained freedom, were they truly regarded as more than slaves, equals?
One of the major post-traumatic results of being enslaved is reduction of the freedom of expression to the barest minimum. Their freedom was only on paper and restricted. The White society does not fully embrace or favour them. The issue of racism has been a battle of skin colour and the pure Africans and African-Americans have been the ones to take the most blow.
Stereotyping and Prejudice
The opinion formed against the people of the dark-skinned society is that they are an embodiment of violence, miscreants and found to be engaged in all sorts of vices.
This stereotyping birthed prejudice which allows the blacks to be adversely judged because of the preconceived notion about them.
By the mention of Police brutality, the death of George Floyd comes to mind- but only because it is the most recent. There are quite a number of cases you could point a finger to.
There has been a large number of cases of police brutality and manhandling of the blacks based on the assumption that Blacks and Black Americans are violent. Some of which have even led to deaths of some innocent lives. Law-abiding black citizens have been shot dead while cooperating with policemen by trying to provide a means of identification from their pockets or cars. Just because of the sense of distrust they get about this race.
However all these will cause the society nothing but more distress, breeding more hate and resentment.
The Psychological Effects
Distrust, self-doubt, aggression, among other things, were what the people of the Black colour had to live with.
The historical adversity the Blacks have been slammed with, from past generation to the present has caused them to distrust the White’s system of governance.
Speculatively, the problems of aggression began with the issue of perception and oppression which are defined by inferiority and superiority complex, dominance and servitude, stereotyping and prejudice, and systemic oppression practice.
Record of being unfairly judged without fully having solid facts and misinterpreted over and over again by others can be a stimulant to aggressive behaviors.
I recall how some months back I was paying attention to a video tutorial on Social Media Marketing and in the introductory video, the tutor David Mark, spoke about how his math teacher negatively influenced his belief about his knowledge on the subject. When he was younger, he was made to think that he didn’t have the capacity to understand the subject, which made him to not bother to try, and eventually led to his failure. See? His Maths teacher sowed a seed of self-doubt in his mind. This thought became a feeling which metamorphosed into a belief, and later a reality. That’s the feedback mechanism
“When people are made to think less about themselves, they start feeling that way and that becomes who they are and how people begin to see them. It all starts with a thought”.
So many centuries later after the end of slave-trade some memories just never heal and some esteems haven’t recovered.
The way to Healing
Unlike the description given in the first publication of the Encyclopedia Britannica (1700s) about the Negro, the black man is also be smart, hardworking, kind, honest, trustworthy, familiar to every sense of compassion, conscientious, mentally stable, and capable of portraying all “anti-vicety”.
The black man is also fragile and deserves to be treated well. He should no longer have to live in the fear of being a chokehold away or be punished for a crime he did not commit.
No one deserves to be seen as less. No matter the skin colour- black, white, chocolate, coffee and cream mix, name it.
Social acceptance and the perception of equality will be a step to take to kickstart the healing process on all sides.