As a writer and someone who is enamored with words and ideas, I have relied on my intellect to navigate the world. As a person committed to collective liberation, I have used analysis and information to challenge systems of oppression – particularly white supremacy – and to engage with possible solutions.
Recently, I have discovered that this approach will likely not have the impact I intend, especially if it is unconnected to practices to address the racialized trauma we carry in our soma.
We’ve got to get out of our minds and into our bodies.
The book My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and Pathways to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem, which I was introduced to by my friend Kristin Wilson, has expanded and shifted my understanding of how we will transform society.
As Menakem’s website explains:
“This work is a culmination the many facets of my professional and personal journey over the years to form a somatic therapy practice around ‘white body supremacy trauma.’
‘White-body supremacy trauma’ is a trauma that we all – including white identified individuals, communities and systems – integrate into our bodies and structures. We need to address this trauma directly in our bodies – not just in our minds.
I want to inspire my community and humanity to acknowledge their ‘white-body supremacy trauma’ and find pathways to heal. I want to help you metabolize the decontextualized internalized ‘white body supremacy’ energy to create fuel for freedom.”
I encourage you to get this book, and/or to take the e-course offered at resmaa.com. The insights and practices offered are profound. They are tools that give me hope for real healing.
In an interview on the Weapon of Choice podcast, Menakam said he wants white people to commit to working with these practices for at least a year. I’m in.
Love and light.
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