My Grandmother's Hands - a Classic!

Resma Menakem's: My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies - is simply a classic - a Must Read!

One can, perhaps, disagree with his splitting of American people in one way - having a third category besides "white" and "Black" with "Blue" (police, security and similar) - but he makes a forceful case for how we all are dealing or not dealing with our traumas - a most important perspective.

If you have a white body, there will be times when it will reflexively constrict in order to protect you from some of the truths you'll encounter.  This constriction wil be followed by a thought such as "I'm not like that; I'm a good person," or "White-body supremacy has nothing to do with me," or "This isn't about me because I don't belong to a racist organization."

When this occurs, just notice what you're experiencing without doing anything about it. (p. xiii)

Perhaps the most damaging, yet least visible, assault on Black hearts is an ongoing lack of human regard.  Here are some ways in which white Americans routinely fail to show regard to Black human beings:

* Not listening or paying attention to someone, or outright ignoring them, as if Black bodies were invisible.

* Interrupting or talking over Black people.

* Nat taking someone seriously (for example, saying, "You don't really mean that," or "you don't really think that," or "You really don't feeling that way," or "it's wrong to feel that way"). ...  (p.75-76)

Had I actually beaten a puppy to death in front of you , you might have suffered vicarious trauma.  That trauma could stay stuck in your body-possibly for months, years, or even decades- until you addressed it and mended it.  (p.200)

There is always much to be done- and much that needs doing.  But no human body can be activated all the time.  Your body's abilities are finite.  Like every other human body, it needs regular periods of rest.  (p.243)

When strategy competes with culture, culture wins - every time.  This is one of the reasons why the most brilliant anti-white-supremacy strategies in the world have failed to dislodge white-body supremacy from our culture (p.246)

The point is simply that if white-body supremacy is to be dissolved and replaced with sanity, respect, and regard, many white Americans will need to expend considerable effort towards these goals, both individually and collectively, over an extended period of time. (p.267)

For white Americans, then, the most important task in dissolving white-body supremacy involves separating whiteness from supremacy. (p.271)

Instead, they focus on extending white American's rights, privileges, and opportunities to people of all colors, so that all Americans get to enjoy them in equal measure. (p.272)

When you show up and help people plant a garden or clean up a vacant lot, no one cares whether you're a cop or not.  What they see is that you're working and helping out.  They see that you care. (p.281)

Resma's words are brilliant!  I highly recommend what he speaks of.  It goes far beyond racism - to the core of how we are as individual people.


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