Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Healing Our Relationships (3)

Click here to read part 1.

Click here to read part 2.

In her talk on 'Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome', Dr. Leary did not put a lot of emphasis on family life - at least, not in the part of the film that I watched. She did say that our patterns of relating are 'generational' - I would have said intergernerational.

Black men and women learned not to trust each other, not to rely on each other. Family life is crucial to all of this. We learn these patterns of relating from our parents - from the way they treat each other, and the way they treat us.

We have inherited toxic patterns from enslavement. They have infected our families for many generations- and we are in danger of passing them on to our own children.

Many of the problems faced by our Black youth today, particularly African Caribbean boys and young men, have their roots in enslavement, these toxic patterns of relating, and the self-hatred we internalised. Self-hatred became part of us. We were taught to fail. We were taught to be less-than.

My work is about solutions. About loving ourselves and each other, valuing ourselves and each other. Improving Relationships/Improving Communication is a practical workshop to help us learn methods of healing our relationships. Click here to check it out today.

Keywords: Black, African, relationships, healing

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Healing Our Relationships (2)

Click here to read part 1.

Click here to read part 3.

Dr. Joy De Gruy Leary spoke about how Black women learned to use harsh words in order to protect ourselves.

She also spoke about how we are harsh with each other and negative about each other’s success. When we see another Black person doing well, we immediately find some reason to put that person down.

Dr. Leary says this is due to fear of abandonment. I don’t completely agree with her assessment. Why should we fear abandonment? When one person is doing well, he or she needs to help others to succeed.

I write about this in my article, ‘Do You Think Like a Success?’. Click here to read it.

We need to celebrate Black people’s successes and achievements all the time. Harriet Tubman has always been a positive role model for me. She was not content to escape from enslavement herself. She risked her life time and time again to help as many other people escape as she possibly could.

My Book, Black Success Stories, is full of people who have that collective mentality, that collective intention. Having achieved success in their own lives, they are working to motivate and inspire others. Click here to order your copy today.

Keywords: Black success, history, relationships, healing, Dr. Joy De Gruy Leary

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Healing Our Relationships

Click here to read part 2.

Click here to read part 3.

I watched the DVD of ‘Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome’ on Tuesday night, at a meeting of the PanAfrican Society at South Bank University. Click here to read more about Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary is a brilliant speaker. She spoke about how Black people’s relationships have been damaged by the legacy of enslavement.

This is familiar territory, especially for those of us who have read the Willie Lynch letter and How to Make a Slave. Dr. Leary described how Black women don’t believe we can rely on our men to protect us, and how Black men don’t believe it is safe to show us their vulnerable side.

This was aptly demonstrated in the Tsunami programme on the BBC on Tuesday night. The wife was saying, ‘Why didn’t you protect me? Why didn’t you protect

our child?’ And the husband did not safe to express his grief, his vulnerability and his fear. They each blamed the other.

Because of the damage that was done to us during enslavement and colonisation, we often find we are afraid to trust those we should be closest to. My work is about healing. We can heal these toxic patterns in our relationships, and in the ways we communicate with each other.

My workshop, Improving Relationships/Improving Communication, is a practical workshop to help us with the healing process. Click here for more info.

Keywords: African American, African Caribbean, History, Relationships, Healing, Dr. Joy Leary

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Alex Wheatle, the Brixton Bard

The novelist Alex Wheatle, known as the Brixton Bard, was brought up in a children's home, left school with no qualifications, and has since completed six novels so far. He tends to write about his characters within the context of their community, and says that Island Songs, his most recent work, draws on the history and culture of the Akan people of Ghana within Jamaica. I interviewed Alex recently. Click here to read it.

Alex states that, as a young person, he was very influenced by Alex Haley's Roots.

René Carayol, whom I interviewed for Black Success Stories, told me that Roots was stolen from his family's history in Gambia and the family's documents. To read this interview, click here to order your copy today.

Keywords: Black history, literature, African Caribbean, Alex Wheatle, Alex Haley, Roots, Black Success Stories

See also: Caribbean Thinkers