What is Racial Trauma?
Racial trauma is the term used to describe the emotional and physical reaction People of Color often have to acts of racism. People of Color may react to acts of racism with fear and hypervigilance, headaches, insomnia, body aches, memory difficulty, self-blame, confusion, shame, and guilt after experiencing racism. The more often you experience acts of racism, the more profound these symptoms can be.
Why is important to learn about racial trauma?
The power of acknowledgment and validation. As a Person of Color, you may find yourself having a very difficult time feeling calm, feeling safe, feeling empowered when you are reminded of the racial injustices in our world. Knowing that you are not alone and that this reaction is warranted and normal can help. There is not “right” way of processing or reacting to racial trauma. But, the first step is learning about it.
What can I find on this page?
Here you will find many resources to help validate the experience of racial trauma, learn about inter-generational trauma and the potential impact of repeated experiences of racism. You will also find resources that may help you understand where your feelings are coming and help you feel empowered and safe despite the consistent reminders of racial injustice. The Counseling Center is here to offer continual support with hopes that you find this list helpful.
As always, if you would like to meet with a counselor to talk more about racial trauma or feel triggered by any of these resources please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can provide additional support through counseling.
Resources for Black-Identified Individuals and Communities
Black Lives Matter: Meditations
Black Lives Matter: Toolkits
Common Coping Strategies
Disarming Racial Microaggressions: Microintervention Strategies for Targets, White Allies, and Bystanders
Discrimination: What It Is and How to Cope
Emotionally Restorative Self-Care for People of Color
Filling Our Cups: 4 Ways People of Color Can Foster Mental Health and Practice Restorative Healing
Grief is a Direct Impact of Racism: Eight Ways to Support Yourself
Healing Justice is How We Can Sustain Black Lives
Liberate Meditation App (by and for people of color)
NAMI: African American Mental Health
Proactively Coping with Racism
Racial Trauma is Real
Radical Self-Care in the Face of Mounting Racial Stress
Racism Recovery Steps
Recovering Emotionally From Disaster
Supporting Kids of Color in the Wake of Racialized Violence
Talking about Race: Self-Care
Tips for Self-Care: When Police Brutality Has You Questioning Humanity and Social Media is Enough
Tips for Supporting Each Other
We Heal Too
New York Association of Black Psychologists
Books to Read on the Experience of Racism
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
The Bridge Called My Back, Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa
My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
TED Talks and Podcasts that may be informative
How To Speak with your Children about Race and Racism