It’s very easy to deny the fact that trauma was passed down through the years of slavery. After all, hasn’t it been a really long time? Time heals all wounds, doesn’t it?!
Not this one!
Time doesn’t heal all things- especially not untreated trauma. Untreated trauma only gets worse. There are no two ways about it.
So, medical science actually reveals that trauma can be passed from generation to generation just as dreams can be. It can slip into the DNA like a genetic worm and subtly slime its way from mother to child and on and on like that. And we’re not just talking about a singular trauma but a string of traumas that ran for over 200 years.
It is important to talk about this and establish a ground zero because this is what sets a premise to providing an answer to the question: Who needs to heal from Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome?! Before we can heal from something, we need to accept that it exists and there is the possibility we’re plagued by it. Same way we need to accept that the post traumatic slave syndrome is not fiction. It exists and it manifests in more ways than one.
For several years, black people remained at the receiving end of this trauma. Daughters were taken away from their mothers. Fathers sold in the presence of their sons. Young girls raped, brutalized and abused.
All those things happened and it is not expected that those people, or their generations, would heal from things without ever talking about it.
Because of the bias of the brutality though, there is the illusion that only black people need to heal from Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. Only blacks need some sort of therapy to see them through their years. But this default assumption couldn’t be more wrong. Everyone, directly or indirectly, is traumatized by this history.
Though black and white people experienced history on different sides of the field, it is just as important that we heal together. There is a need for a conversation. A settler.
These are uncomfortable topics but we need to discuss them nonetheless. How do you explain why an innocent white child naturally loathes a black person? How do you explain a black man’s fears that he might not live beyond his twenties? Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome reveals itself in more undefined subtleties that have for so long remained unfiltered and discarded by our perceptions.
And again, though black people were at the receiving end of heinous brutalities, it is important that all colours of people embrace the conversation and take the active steps to grow and heal from Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome. We all made it through to the Post Slavery days and without doubt, it left a mark on all of us.