Brent Peterkin SSH231 Professor Phipps Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome 10/16/2010

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome; does it exist today many years after emancipation? • • • In Black Family Life? In Music/Entertainment? In Sports?

Why do men of color take out their frustration on their women? How: • • • Physically? Verbally? Mentally?

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome is a multifarious enigma that has affected many African Americans since the emancipation of the slave in. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (P.T.S.S.), is the continuing existence of the multitudinous traumas suffered by Africans during slavery. Dr. Joy DeGruy coined the term P.T.S.S. and she defines it as: “a condition that exists as a consequence of multigenerational oppression of Africans and their descendants resulting from centuries

One of the reasons why this self-perpetuating disorder continues to affect so many in the present day is because the myriad of elements from the slavery era are reproduced and modernized to fit within a contemporary veiling via today’s African and Caucasian American cultural platforms.S. This was then followed by institutionalized racism.S.S. decelerate or circumvent the generational damage caused by hundreds of years of the systematic reindoctrination of oppression. A form of slavery. could be considered an offspring of the mental conditioning and physical abuse that was conducted during slavery and reinforced during later periods of American history.S. P. neither the emancipated slave nor the subsequent generations have received the aggregate psychological or psychiatric treatment necessary to reverse. even in the twenty first century.T. P. is so permeating that it continues to impair the psychosocial and emotional behavioral growth of many African Americans. which continues to perpetuate injury” (DeGruy). My parents were immigrants from Jamaica. they . the behavioral expressions of it can surface in a very physical way. terrorism and white supremacy. which was predicated on the belief that African Americans were inherently/genetically inferior to whites. In addition. The reality of my upbringing was quite different from that of many of my peers. Although it could be viewed as psychogenic in nature.of chattel slavery.T.

and remain in matrimony until this day. This recurrence of self-hatred has destroyed many families. To my peers it was unusual that I was being raised with both parents in the house.S.kidscount. oppressed and physically abused and had little or no enforcement of his legal rights as a citizen. During slavery the manhood of African men was stripped away like paint on the walls of a dilapidated building. According to datacenter. As a result. these aspects may have added to the systematic suppression of their children’s potential due to the semiconscious reenacting of the oppressive behavior exhibited by the slave master or the enslaved. Thus.lived with us (my siblings and I). however I never felt that I had some exceptional stroke of fortune because to me this was “normal”.org 65% percent of the single parent households in America are Black or African American. were married. Anecdotally.T. it seems that many of the fathers in my community past and present.S. At the time of slavery and throughout the Jim Crow Era the Black male was socially humiliated. either didn’t feel an obligation to parent their children or when they were involved. even physically he was made to no longer . the African male slave may have also suffered a castration before or after he was lynched. their preconceived notions of rearing reinforced oppressive behavior and an exhumation of a self hate ideology within their children who may already be challenged by other facets of P. Lynchings took place in public areas and were sometimes promoted to draw large crowds.

one would be sold off to a different plantation.have the reproductive organs of a man. In addition. 80 percent of black .com declared that “72 percent of black women” gave birth out of wedlock. and children brought up with a distortion of normalcy. the African male slave was often called upon to perform he slave master’s dirty work and often was also the executor of those same atrocities upon the Black women and child in the role of an Overseer. Under slavery the African male had no substantial obligation to the African women either due to his “Buck “ status or because he knew that he had no real control over their bond. Imagine a man stripped of his manhood. In addition slave masters would breed their future slaves by allowing the male slaves with the brawny composition to mate with multiple slave women without having to bare the responsibility of fatherhood. My theoretical perspective is that the decline in the rate of marriage in the African American community is partly because of the effects of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: “The proportion of young black Americans who have married has decreased dramatically in recent decades. It was rare for slaves to be allowed to marry and often times if they were. 2009 article on cnn. In 1960. a woman forced to adopt generally intrinsic male attributes in order to survive. An April.

2009).2 percent to “the root causes of black men’s difficulties in the labor market.6 percent in September. limited education. the rate for black men rose from 17. cultural and economic context was destroyed as a result of his enslavement and a number of measures taken by white supremacist such as the Jim Crow Laws. “And while unemployment for black women dropped from 13. The ramifications of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome may have also induced the growing disparities between African American woman and men in categories such as education and employment.4 million black men out of work nationally” (Belser. Black women are earning college degrees and are entering the corporate work force at a much larger rate than Black males. 1995). and discrimination” (Cawthorne. in 1990 these figures were 46 percent and 38 percent” (Wood. including high rates of incarceration. whom she would most likely view as her natural protector.3 percent in August to 17.women and 66 percent of black men 20 to 34 had married at least once.6 percent. is subjected to rape and abuse and must learn to suppress her pain and emotions of abandonment. child support arrearages. The female slave who is disconnected from the one. This . According to americanprogress. The African male’s image and position within a social. 2010). There is also the possibility that the abused and conflicted African women may teach tolerance and/or the acceptance of demoralizing behavior. There are now 1.

This behavior of excessive spending. It has its roots in the inner city but its popularity and influence has reached across the globe. fine clothes for him and his loved ones.T. Slaves were dressed poorly. insufficient education and employment. Without a father in the home or the provision of an intimate relationship with a positive Black male role model there are multitudes of young African American boys learning how to become men from women.S. Even after slavery ended there were many strategic initiatives such as Jim Crow that were taken in order to keep African Americans out of certain economic levels. The images of African American rappers are filled with the symptoms of P. jewelry and his horse and carriage. Hip Hop is currently one of the most popular genres of music.S. The revenue generated from slavery allowed the slave masters to afford large plantation mansions. financial mismanagement and gaudy displays of wealth and affluence by many rap artists may be attributed to the long standing denial of access to their share of the .reality is accompanied by the notion that there are no suitable or worthy Black men available to be potential mates for Black women due to high levels of incarceration. were often shoeless and lived in small shacks under appalling conditions. After generations of poverty and deprivation one can develop a voracious desire to obtain the luxuries that were once inaccessible to him or her. In addition there is the circumstance of young Black men being raised singlehandedly by Black women.

Many African American athletes come from meager living conditions and modest upbringings. On the contrary. There is a parallel in the recording industry. This can also be compared to the recording industry where we find many successful rap artists are unable to take a majority ownership in the music they create. In the songs and music videos of many contemporary Rap and R&B artists we see an extreme misogynist attitude and denigration of women. They often remain limited in scope regarding their potential to transform themselves from a slave to the master of their own destiny. almost all of the owners of professional sports organizations are Caucasian and make a sizable fortune from the exploitation of Black athletes. Most of these athletes never attempt to expand their financial growth through the ownership of a professional sports organization. On one end you have the glorification of women who are not Black which decreases the notion of the beauty of Black women in popular culture. with the major corporate record labels are owned by a Caucasian. . while on the other end when a Black women is featured in a video she is often shown having an intense promiscuous nature and with Eurocentric and Caucasian features i.American Pie. In professional sports we also see the manifestations of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.e. There is also an alarming absence of African American women from the music videos. hair weaves and fair skin. which tells a two-fold tale.

and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. Black males experienced intimate partner violence at a rate about 62% higher than that of white males and about 22 times the rate of men of other races” (Welchans. “Black females experienced intimate partner violence at a rate 35% higher than that of white females. . a defeatist mental state that leads to the accumulation of aggression. The desire to be respected as a man and the denial of significance that may fester inside a Black man can erupt in acts of aggression and violence. their women and children” (Jordan). their internalized oppression is transformed into violent acts against the people closest to them. 2000).The willingness of a male slave to exert any level of defiance or stir insurrection on a slave plantation meant that he was prepared to die. According to research. Again there needs to be a concerted effort within the Black community to re-evaluate the effects of Post traumatic Slave Syndrome and apply the necessary levels of treatment in order to resurrect the bond between Black men and women. During slavery the life of a Black person was worth as much as they could be sold for. This reinforces a systematic teaching of low or no self-value. “By the time these boys become men. This purging of internalized pain may be the cause of the high levels of domestic violence and verbal abuse in the African American community.

Domestic Violence in the African American Community. 10 10).html . Retrieved 10 16.S. http://www. http://www. 2010. Retrieved 10 16. D. 2010. J. from www. Retrieved 10 16. A.ojp. Weathering the Storm: Black Men in the Recession. M. Marriage rates and marriageable men: a test of the Wilson Retrieved 10 16.pdf Welchans.T. Black unemployment rate slower to recover.S.Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome P.usdoj.accessmylibrary. (2000). 01 01). (2009. 2010.stm http://www.usdoj.html Jordan. Retrieved 10 16. http://new.americanprogress.html DeGruy. (1995. (n.).org/issues/2009/04/black_men_recession .). L. from Cited Belser. from www. from 2010.ojp. | Dr. 04 15).txt Wood. Retrieved 10 16.d. http://www. Be The Healing .vawnet. A. (2010.joydegruy. Intimate Partner Violence.postgazette. (n.accessmylibrary. from www. from www.

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