Cover image for My grandmother's hands : racialized trauma and the pathway to mending our hearts and bodies
My grandmother's hands : racialized trauma and the pathway to mending our hearts and bodies

Physical Description:
xx, 309 pages ; 24 cm
Do not cross this line -- Watch your body -- Acknowledging our ancestors -- Our bodies, our country -- Unarmed and dismembered . Your body and blood ; Black, white, blue, and you ; Body to body, generation to generation ; European trauma and the invention of whiteness ; Assaulting the black heart ; Violating the black body ; The false fragility of the white body ; White-body supremacy and the police body ; Changing the world begins with your body -- Remembering ourselves. Your soul nerve ; Settling and safeguarding your body ; The wisdom of clean pain ; Reaching out to other bodies ; Harmonizing with other bodies ; Mending the black heart and body ; Mending the white heart and body ; Mending the police heart and body -- Mending our collective body. Body-centered activism ; Creating culture ; Cultural healing for African Americans ; Whiteness without supremacy ; Reshaping police culture ; Healing is in our hands ; The reckoning -- Afterword -- Five opportunities of healing and making room for growth.
The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn't just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans -- our police. My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide. --


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Book 305.896 MEN 0 1
Book 305.896 MEN 0 1

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The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze. My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for Americans to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body. Author Resmaa Menakem introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.

Author Notes

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, is a therapist with decades of experience in private practice in Minneapolis, MN, specializing in healing of trauma, conflict in relationships, body-centered psychotherapy, and violence prevention. He has appeared on both the Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil as an expert on conflict and violence, and for ten years he cohosted a radio show with US Congressman Keith Ellison on KMOJFM in Minneapolis. He also hosted his own show, "Resmaa in the Morning," on KMOJ. Resmaa has served as director of counseling services for the Tubman Family Alliance, a domestic violence treatment center in Minneapolis; as behavioral health director for African American Family Services in Minneapolis; as domestic violence counselor for Wilder Foundation; and as trauma consultant for the Minneapolis Public Schools. From 2011-2013, Resmaa served as community care counselor for civilian contractors in Afghanistan, managing the wellness and counseling services on fifty-three US military bases. As a certified Military Family Life Consultant, he also worked with members of the military and their families on issues related to PTSD, family living, deployment, and returning home.

Resmaa studied with Dr. David Schnarch, author of the bestselling Passionate Marriage , and Bessel van der Kolk, MD, author of the bestselling The Body Keeps the Score . He also studied and trained at Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute. He teaches workshops on psychological first aid and leads programs on healing from white supremacy for both African American and European-American audiences.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Sensitive and probing, this book from therapist Menakem delves into the complex effects of racism and white privilege. Departing from standard academic approaches, he speaks from the wisdom of his grandmother and his own expertise in somatic therapy, a field that emphasizes the mind-body connection. Trauma, both present-day and historical, forms the cornerstone of Menakem's analysis. He writes that race is a "myth-something made up in the 17th century," with the concepts of whiteness and racial superiority nonetheless now "essential facts of life, like birth, death and gravity." The result is that both black and white people are traumatized with fear of the racial other and with the "dirty pain of avoidance, blame, and denial." At the outset, Menakem implores readers to "experience" his book in their bodies. To this end, bodycentric activities, such as breath exercises, are described throughout. Menakem emphasizes body mindfulness, helping readers move from unhealthy reflexive responses to traumatic emotions to the conscious experience of "clean pain," which involves directly facing such emotions and thereby getting past them. Menakem is specific when directing his messages. "To all my white readers," he says, "welcome... let's get to work." To law-enforcement officers he gives the same welcome. And to African-Americans, he offers counsel and highlights the value of their experiences. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Community Care Counselor Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP, posits that racism is embedded in the hearts, souls, and reflexes of both blacks and whites in American society, and that the trauma (as he describes in depth) inflicted on many as a result of this fact is harmful to all. Menakem then helps readers get inside the black experience to encounter everyday threats and the responses of fighting, fleeing, or freezing in order to begin the healing process. The guided exercises and social commentary help to pave the way for understanding one another and building a stronger community that benefits everyone. VERDICT An exceptionally thought-provoking and important account that looks at race in a radical new way. For all readers. © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.