As I write this blog on September 25, 2023, I am energized, both mentally and emotionally. The energy comes from our monthly Sister-to-Sister, Inc. hybrid educational and bridge-building event, held yesterday. This gathering titled, “Dear Strong Black Woman: Exploring the Intersections of Misogynoir and Trauma, ” was mind-blowing and just what Sisters need at this time in life. Our illustrious presenter, Jazmyne Peters, Ph.D., of the Renee Crown Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder, taught us in a style that touched our hearts, spirits, and emotions. Most importantly, Dr. Peters, who holds a doctorate in psychology counseling, generated authentic soul-stirring conversations and acknowledgements of our personal stories of the internalized trauma that dwells within us all. Some of our conversations generated tears, as we spoke of our girls and other Black females that we mentor. After focusing on the concerns about our families for whom we care, we eventually turned to attention to ourselves. Having inadequate time to do self-assessments of the trauma we carry and discuss the root causes of why we have not focused on and dealt with its burdens, we asked Dr. Peters to return to do another session early next year. She graciously agreed. Per the suggestion of some workshop participants, Sister-to-Sister, Inc. will consider hosting a retreat for the session.
The hurt and despair carried within our bodies surfaces internally around age three and these pains intensify over the years due to racism, discrimination, and microaggressions. To facilitate understanding of the adverse harms on all Black peoples, especially our children – whether biological or adopted, I invite you to read about and view the Doll Test that Drs. Kenneth and Mimi Clark, Black psychologists, replicated in the early 1950s that greatly influenced the Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation, argued by future U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Its recreation continues to this day with the same results. Both Black, white and children of all other races and ethnicities featured in the tests choose the Black doll when asked by the interviewers which is ugly, stupid, mean, and bad. I am sharing a YouTube video featuring a Caucasian mother who gifted her daughters with Black dolls who they love, notwithstanding the backlash. I have personally gifted Black dolls to white girls who have had the same reaction. That is, love. There is hope. Our public charity will continue to help build it through education and Sister Circle gatherings. If you would like to share your story, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and title your message, Internalized Trauma - My Story.”
In Sisterhood, Velveta