Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome

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  1. gmwilliams profile image83
    gmwilliamsposted 6 years ago

    Dr. Joy Leary, noted scholar who teaches Social Work at Portland State University, asserted that Blacks in America have psychological aftereffects of slavery.   She maintained that many Blacks are in the victimhood mode.  She added that many Blacks have the negative aftereffects of slavery such as poor mental health, poor physical health due to poor nutrition,(she maintained that soul food was slave food i.e. spices and flavorings were used on nonnutritious food to make it more appetizing), family dysfunction i.e. fatherless homes, and an inherent sense of thinking that one is inferior.   

    Dr. Leary furthermore added that because of slavery, Blacks are viewed subconsciously as second class citizens by not only Americans but worldwide.   She asserted that the aftereffects of slavery is still present to this day in the Black community.  Do you agree with this premise or do you believe that this is an excuse for Black victimhood and/or passivity?

    1. spconlin profile image65
      spconlinposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      To me, this sounds like another scholar weaving an intricate excuse to explain poor decisions and behavior. I have seen this done across races, ages, nationalities, and various walks of life so I would not apply my comments strictly to this hypothesis.

      If we take a step back a think about what is being proposed, there would be merit to this observation when dealing with members of the slave generation and first generation freed slaves (race need not apply as all humans respond roughly the same in these environments). As with PTSD, the person would need to experience the trauma in order to suffer its effects. In order for subsequent generations to suffer from this syndrome, they would either need to be subjected to slavery themselves or they would need to be traumatized by the previous generation. If the latter is true, the later generations are suffering from psychologically abusing home lives in which they were fed on tragedies of the past rather than being encouraged to look to the future.

      1. kschimmel profile image58
        kschimmelposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        I hope the shrinks don't invent something called "secondhand PTSD."  It diminishes the suffering of true PTSD sufferers.

    2. kschimmel profile image58
      kschimmelposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Oh, please!  Like the rest of us didn't have ancestors that at some point were mistreated?  I'm descended from Anabaptists (Mennonites, e.g.) who were burned at the stake and had to flee Europe.  While that was awful for them, I'm not going to blame that persecution for anything I do in my life today!

      It is the race-baiters within their own community that keep the legacy of slavery alive.  It is the successful people within their community they should listen to instead!  Past should not dictate future.


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