The Psychological Legacy of Slavery

Essays on Trauma, Healing and the Living Past

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About the Book

This collection of essays surveys the practices, behaviors, and beliefs that developed during slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and the lingering psychological consequences that continue to impact the descendants of enslaved Africans today. The psychological legacies of slavery highlighted in this volume were found independently in Brazil, the U.S., Belize, Jamaica, Colombia, Haiti, and Martinique. They are color prejudice, self and community disdain, denial of trauma, black-on-black violence, survival crime, child beating, underlying African spirituality, and use of music and dance as community psychotherapy. The effects on descendants of slave owners include a belief in white supremacy, dehumanization of self and others, gun violence, and more.

Essays also offer solutions for dealing with this vast psychological legacy. Knowledge of the continuing effects of slavery has been used in psychotherapy, family, and group counseling of African slave descendants. Progress in resolving these legacies has been made as well using psychohistory, forensic psychiatry, family social histories, and community mental health. This knowledge is crucial to eventual reconciliation and resolution of the continuing legacies of slavery and the slave trade.

About the Author(s)

Benjamin P. Bowser is emeritus professor of sociology and social services at California State University East Bay where he was department chair, interim dean and outstanding professor, and visiting professor at the University of Paris, La Sorbonne.

Aimé Charles-Nicolas is emeritus professor of psychiatry at the Université des Antilles and University Hospital of Martinique. He is President of the Medico-Psychological Society, editor-in-chief of Journal of Psychiatry, Annales Médico-Psychologiques, and is the recipient of the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor) and Chevalier des Palmes Académiques (Knight of Academic Palms).

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Benjamin P. Bowser and Aimé Charles-Nicolas
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7893-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4233-8
Imprint: McFarland