Joy DeGruy Leary explores the legacy of the slave era in Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. Hundreds of years of generational “vacant esteem” and “ever-present anger” continue to plague the black communities of America; the slave behaviors during the slavery period — overprotecting their families, the thread of distrust — persist. Leary shows readers that these behaviors made sense then, but they are no longer appropriate, and they are at the heart of the ongoing problem of “racial socialization,” a self-degrading attitude that some blacks have adopted. This mindset does not exist in countries like Africa, but here, in the U.S., it strengthens the movement of racism as black communities armor themselves with disrespect toward one another, living reactively instead of proactively, ironically embracing the expired catalog that has held black people in chains for too long. Leary tackles an issue that is far too common yet not commonly spoken of.
Leary writes an informative and necessary account of an ongoing problem in our nation. This is a must-read for anyone because it tackles an issue that affects us all, whether directly or indirectly. What I appreciate about this book most of all is that she alludes to firsthand documents to support her points. It is objective and hopeful, which is why the reader can trust in it. If we were all to read this book, not only would we have a better understanding of our nation’s history, but we would experience a positive change of heart and be better equipped to change ourselves — and society — for the better.
Rated: None, for no offensive material