Examining racial trauma and exploring strategies for healing and transformation.
Racial oppression is a traumatic form of interpersonal violence which can lacerate the spirit, scar the soul, and puncture the psyche. Without a clear and descriptive language to describe this experience, those who suffer cannot coherently convey their pain, let alone heal. The source of their hurt is often confused with distracting, secondary symptoms ranging from hopelessness to ‘acting out’ behaviours. As with other forms of trauma, we ask the wrong question about struggling youths of colour. Instead of asking “What is wrong with them?” we need to ask the trauma-informed question, “What has happened to them?”