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Breaking the Psychological Chains of Slavery


Breaking the chains of slavery. Photo by empirical_perception.

African-Americans have endured one of the most painful eras of American history – an era that has been normalized and justified not only by institutions that have been complicit with slavery but also by African-Americans themselves. Dr. Joy DeGruy is the author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing”, she argues that African-Americans suffer from a deep psychological trauma that has been passed on through generations.

Dr. DeGruy explores African-American history, cultural behavior and the trauma of slavery and racism’s impacts on African-Americansand society as a whole. Dr. DeGruy advocates for recognition and collective healing.

Special thanks to Dr. Joy DeGruy and the California Institute of Integral Studies.



Dr. Joy DeGruy, researcher, educator and author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing; Belvie Rooks, educator, author and co-founder of Growing a Global Heart.



Dr. Joy DeGruy, full-length presentation

Q&A with Dr. Joy DeGruy & Belvie Rooks, author and co-founder of “Growing A Global Heart.”

For More Information:

Dr. Joy DeGruy: Be The Healing

The Resolution Project, dedicated to creating and promoting positive “new media” campaigns, curricula, books, products and strategies that foster intra-racial dialogue.

The National Resource Center for the Healing of Racism

Oneness, a community dedicated to eliminating racism and promoting theoneness of humanity through the use of music, the arts and education.

Growing A Global Heart

California Institute of Integral Studies: ConverZations that Matter Series

Articles and Books:

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary talks about herprovocative new book by Silja J.A. Talvi

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of EnduringInjury and Healing by Dr. Joy DeGruy

Breaking Rank, A Top Cop’s Exposé of the Dark Side of AmericanPolicing by Norman Stamper

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks by Randall Robinson

Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell


A Change Is Gonna Come- Lamont Hadley

Misunderstood- Common feat: Nina Simone

Author: Kwan

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  1. Dr. Joy DeGruy is a great speaker, she pulled me into her perceptions and ideas. It is so important for people to understand that trauma carries and morphs across generations, and that this greatly affects the strength of communities. And because I believe that meaningful political action will always arise from social-movements, we cannot undervalue efforts like Joy’s to illuminate the roots of social behavior, both psychologically and through analysis of institutions.

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  2. Wonderfully enlightening!!!
    How do we get this info out to all the affected people, many of whom because of their disadvantages, don’t easily access or come in contact with these facts?
    This is complicated by the appalling and particularly American population’s general political and social ignorance, which is much worse than other “modern” nations/societies. There is so much clouding & manipuating of all relevant truths & facts built in to the US systems.
    I’m a “caucasian” european by birth, having lived all my adult life in the US, professionally a “mental health provider” in a county clinic.
    If often feel ashamed of my historical identity, as I have also come to similar conclusions about the origins of severe trauma as experienced by “minority” people. I see especially sexual and other abuse and poverty related lack of opportunity/self defeating behaviors/hopelessness as a part of the larger scope discussed by Dr DeGruy.

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  3. It is very edifying to hear programs on the legacy of Africans who were kidnapped in their homeland, then transported to what is now the United States and then horribly enslaved.

    The world needs to know that the Legacy of 460 years of Slavery in this country againt black people still haunts and confronts us as Human Beings.

    Thank you Dr. DeGruy and Making Conact!

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  4. I honestly don’t understand this at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. That we are taught that our ancestors were captured in Africa and brought all the wasy across the Atlantic ocean hundreds of years ago on ships where we allegedly were fed slop and urinated and defecated all over each other is one of the greatest stories ever told.. Its right up their with the lie that pictures tell when they portray all of the prophets as being of European desent…We’ve been labeled blacks, negros, colored folks, and now African Americans. What lie will they tell next?

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  6. lack of knowledge due to ignorance n this lead to lack of wisdom,therefore follows self induced crisis. …and until light shines in these tunnels n channels of darkness catastrophe will b on our back holding our neck while hizzing in our hears like a mosquito.

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  1. Distractions: May 2011 Edition | - [...] Breaking the Psychological chains of slavery: National Radio Project [...]
  2. Discussions That Matter « JoyWeekly - [...] Studies, “Discussions That Matter” series. Recording by and made available by “Making Contact“, National Radio Project. Like this:LikeBe the…
  3. some things from the interwebs « a2epilogue - [...] here’s one on PTSS, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, recommended by Robbie Moore [...]

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