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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Healing the Trauma of Slavery – A Special Section

Jan 24, 2021 02:34PM ● By Paul Chen

Concept by Angelo Roland, Execution by Paul Marquardt, photo by Sonia Kapadia, sculpture by Kwame Akoto-Bamfo. 

Presented in partnership with Sevananda Natural Foods Market 

We are pleased and proud to present this five-article deep dive into the causes of the trauma that is still being visited upon African Americans every day as an ongoing testament to America's original sin. And critically, we discuss some possibilities for healing. 

But before we take a look at each of the articles, a word from managing editor Diane Eaton.

Be warned:  The articles within this issue’s special section— “Healing from the Trauma of Slavery”—will probably trigger you!

No matter the shade of your skin color, the facts and ideas discussed within these pages are painful, uncomfortable and likely stomach-twisting. And as we wrote, we realized that the articles, in fact, stretch the boundaries of what this magazine usually focuses on: personal development and healing by means of providing information about e ective, alternative methods to help heal illness and disease.

But the “illness” here is the ever-present trauma experienced by people of African heritage in this country; and the “healing” requires not just one person to manage their self-care and health journey, but for us as a nation to work together to eradicate causes of the dis-ease. As trauma expert Resmaa Menakem, a Black American, said in an interview with Sounds True’s Tami Simon, “Individual growth is inadequate to deal with the communal brutalization and violence that still works and lives and was predicated on my body and bodies that look like mine.”

As our team wrote and produced these articles, we have been humbled, awed, enlightened, shocked, moved to tears, moved to action and tempted to hope. We pray that your reading does the same for you.

Diane Eaton
Managing Editor

Inherited Trauma: Is It Real? Clues to Post-traumatic Slave Syndrome

Our first article takes a look at the hardest evidence currently available that trauma might be passed along genetically. We are far from being able to assert that this is happening, but the story to date is compelling.   

(Photo: Joshua Abner, via Pexels)

Healing the Scars of Race-Based Trauma

We explore the thoughts and words of two African American authors, Dr. Joy DeGruy, whose 2005 book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury & Healing, and Resmaa Menakem's My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. 

The Realities of Treating PTSS: A Therapist’s Perspective

“I don’t think any therapist is fully integrating [PTSS],” says Oronde Yero, MS, LPC, NCC, an Atlanta-based counselor and life coach, who has long been aware of theories about the intergenerational transmission of trauma. However, “we’re really just at the inception of this concept.”

Obstacles to Healing

If awareness is the first step towards resolution, are African Americans well on their way to healing racial trauma? Executive, life coach and spiritual coach Dr. Deborah Egerton says, “It’s difficult to heal when the wounds keep coming.”

The Road to Healing

When I hear the word “slavery,” my stomach immediately tightens. I cringe when people refer to enslaved people as “slaves,” as if that is an identity instead of a circumstance. I am triggered by images of beautiful, young, brown-skinned souls that look like my uncles and aunties, barely clothed, chained and broken-hearted.  

Resources for Healing Race-based Trauma

A collection of books, media, courses and links to further your knowledge. 

Black & Vegan in Atlanta

You may be interested in checking out our first special section focused on Atlanta's African American community, published in August 2019. 

Veganism Blossoms in Atlantas Black Community

Veganism Blossoms in Atlanta’s Black Community

Healthy, meatless eating regimens have been growing in popularity across America, and Atlanta. Read More » 

Shyne Khm Yahra Photo Shyne Khm Yahra

Confessions of a Southern Vegan

Shyne Khm YahRa's personal evolution toward veganism.



Vegan recipes for conscious eating. Read More »  

Black-Owned or -Managed VegetarianVegan Resources in Atlanta

Black-Owned or -Managed Vegetarian/Vegan Resources in Atlanta

A business roundup of vegetarian and vegan resources in Atlanta. Read More » 

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