Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
Pain bridges from generation to generation in descendants of the transatlantic slave trade.
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS) posits that centuries of slavery in the United States, followed by systemic and structural racism and oppression, including lynching, Jim Crow laws and unwarranted mass incarceration, have resulted in multigenerational maladaptive behaviors, which originated as survival strategies. The syndrome continues because children whose parents suffer from PTSS are often indoctrinated into the same behaviors, long after the behaviors have lost their contextual effectiveness.
Dr. Joy DeGruy, who introduced the concept, states that PTSS is not a disorder that can simply be treated and remedied clinically but rather also requires profound social change in individuals, as well as in institutions that continue to reify inequality and injustice toward the descendants of enslaved Africans.
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