Is trauma the USA’s Black legacy?


What life expectancy does a Black child in the USA have, when all the different variables are considered?

What life expectancy does a Black child in the USA have, when all the different variables are considered?

From the days of slavery to the Jim Crow and civil rights eras, the Black experience in the USA has been one seeped in profound trauma. The unrelenting spate of police-involved murders of Black men and women, coupled with out-of-control inner-city violence, deaths due to illnesses and accidents demonstrate, quite clearly, that the legacy of trauma will not disappear anytime soon.

Instead, more Black residents are prone to become victims themselves, even as they mourn the deaths of other members of the community.

black mental health

The protests that have erupted across the nation in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, followed by the brutal massacre of police officers in Dallas, Texas by a deranged army reserve, have emerged due to a palpable sense of fear, rage and despair from many residents within the Black community who are tormented by one question: Will I be next? Will my loved ones be next?

As the ministry of foreign affairs in the Bahamas issued a travel alert designed to keep its natives safe when traveling to the USA, it will come as no surprise if other Caribbean nations decide to follow suit, in a bid to keep its citizens vigilant in their USA travels, as the novelty of the American experience for Blacks loses its shine and the painful, raw reality hits forcefully.

A Black male mourns at the site of yet another tragedy where lives are lost.

Gone are the days when naive visitors and arriving immigrants felt that the USA was a welcoming nation, a haven of sorts for the ambitious. Now the veil has been lifted and the ugly scourge of racism and a longstanding reign of terror against Blacks, who are gunned down while walking, driving, marching, jogging or in their homes.

So, rightly, Blacks of all stripes need to be on the alert and proactive in seeking counseling to address the sustained trauma that has weakened the psyche, tortured the soul, sapped the spirit and damaged the sense of dignity and safety that all citizens should feel in their homeland. The Black reality in the USA seems unchanged, in many respects, from the days in our past that we hoped were long gone––


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