Book Excerpt Of The Week- Part 1, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” By: Dr. Joy Leary

“Some families take time to consider all that went well for them the previous day, to explore ways of making things even better, and plan what will go well the next day. Imagine every Black family doing this every day. It wouldn’t take long for you and your children to get in the habit of paying attention to the impact all of us have on others, and refining the impacts of our contributions. Everyday we would have evidence of the good that we do, and hence evidence of our value.

Where we are harboring beliefs that undermine our esteem, attending to the positive impacts we have will begin to destroy such limiting and fallacious beliefs. Creating value on a daily basis will provide strong, incontrovertible evidence of our efficacy and worth. False and negative beliefs about esteem and efficacy are some of the issues confronting many of us.

In the African American community there are many other false and negative beliefs that we leave unexamined. Beliefs about helplessness, beliefs about mainstream society, beliefs about victimization and many others that serve to put limits on what we can be, do, and have.

To address these falsehoods, we need to look at ourselves and a community as a whole from a strengths rather than from a deficit perspective. We need to identify, focus and articulate those positive characteristics in all of our interactions with our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends. And we need to especially share these encouraging observations with African American children whose views of themselves are still being shaped.” -From, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome” By: Dr. Joy Leary

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