CAAGS Conference 2016 - Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

by Dawn

Dr. DeGruy's book

Dr. DeGruy's book

When I chose to attend the Calfornia African-American Genealogical Society (CAAGS) Annual Conference, there were a number of workshop titles I wanted to take.

One that immediately caught my attention was on the subject of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and Epigenetics.

If I had heard that term about a month ago, I probably would have laughed at it, thinking it was made up. However, I caught a heated Facebook discussion a couple of weeks back.

Once of the debaters posted the book cover on her comments. I didn't look it up at that time, but did say to myself, "Hmmm..."

I happen to be a licensed minister, and one of my passions is in the area of healing--physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Among things I have addressed in ministering healing is in the arena of "generational wounds and diseases".

So, the whole concept of a PTSD-type phenomenon, related to American slavery was not that far-fetched to me.

In ministering to the African-American community, it has occurred to me often that issues or wounds I have seen might have slave orgins.

Things such as:

-Multi-generational trauma (similar to Holocaust survivors)
-Feelings of powerlessness
-Inability to protect loved ones
-Lack of feeling safe
-Emotional shut-down
-Constant vigilance (watching one's 'back')

The workshop leader recommended the book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, by Joy DeGruy, Ph.D. Available on

I have enthusiastically downloaded the copy of the book to my Kindle!

I think this is something that might become a virtual book discussion on this website, if others are interested in reading.

People may wonder why this book is being discussed on a genealogy website.

In my opinion, this topic has everything to do with African-American family history, and can help our families heal as we move forward.

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Mar 27, 2016
Interesting Topic
by: Anonymous

Wow...interesting. I had not considered this before. I'm going to read the book as well. Thanks for this information!

Mar 20, 2016
Thank You!
by: Dawn

Okay, Peggy--noted, you're in the club. I'll put up more info on groups you can join later this week. Thanks for your comment!

Mar 20, 2016
I will join you!
by: Peggy

I am so excited to read about this--sounds fascinating. Yes, if you do a book club discussion, I am in! Send details please, I'm on your mailing list :)

Also, how do you find a genealogy group? I would love to know how to join one. Thanks.

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