We don’t exist in a vacuum and we didn’t come from nowhere. One of the things I’ve learned through my spiritual gifts is the impact family and our family histories have on us. That’s one reason I was excited to participate in Thursday’s event with Kris Spasik. I spoke about the book I have coming out in just over a week, a fictionalized story based on the story of one of my ancestors. I didn’t know about this man growing up but because of him, I am.
In writing this book I also learned more about my family in general. Yes, the experience of slavery is and was real, but there were things deeper than that. Walking through the cemetery of Jamestown I could feel the energy of history and I know some of those emotions rest in the descendents of those who may have suffered. Slaves in America suffered greatly. There is evidence that the emotional trauma roots in the DNA, requiring healing. Just do a search for it. Here’s an article written by a PhD that is readable by regular people.
Understanding those histories, the pains, and suffering of generations past can help us identify and heal the traumas that may still be present in our bodies today. Deep, right? You ever wonder how your family may be impacted? Learn the stories of your family. The ones that may be uncomfortable. Not to shame or blame, but to heal and move forward. Particularly in Black culture we’ve been taught to not feel, to keep silent, and keep the pain to ourselves. This was necessary for survival in this country but after generations we’ve got a lot of pent up pain and it overflows in unhealthy ways – desperately seeking a way out but being refused on a conscious level so it expresses itself in other ways.
In the article referenced above Dr. Dana G. Smith says “ There is mounting evidence that the offspring of trauma survivors — of genocide, war, slavery, famine and other traumatic situations — have a greater risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism, metabolic disorders, and even premature death.”
I think we can honestly say many of these have been an issue in the Black community. When someone says it ‘runs in the family’ they are accurate. But it’s time to stop the racing of this suffering to the next generation. You can be the end of that line. Ever heard of breaking chains and generational curses? There’s different words for the work that must be done and how you do it is up to you. I simply encourage you to do it. As we prepare to celebrate the accomplishments of Blacks in February we also need to begin healing the emotionally stored trauma.
I believe we should consider both traditional therapy and counseling as well as spiritual therapy/healing and counseling. There’s no shame in seeking the support we deserve to heal and move forward. In my play Four Wives and a Will I acknowledge this as well (in a dramatic and humorous way). It’s time to move forward as a people, and as a society because until we as Black Americans are alright, this nation as a whole will not be alright.
Find out about my book The Story of Ervin James, released 2021.