Cold Facts/Hard Truth: African American Healing Event, “It’s Us, Not Them”


In this technological society, we have gotten away from the basics.


“When people say the system isn’t working don’t believe them, it is working because it’s been designed to do just what it’s doing. The village has been destroyed and it was deliberate,” said Barbara Johnson, moderator of the African American Healing Event that took place last Saturday at McGee Baptist Church. “Just imagine what would happen if Black people were healed and had a good education.”


Atthe event, Tony Jackson, Vice President of the Association of Black Psychologists, named off a long list of what trauma looks like ranging from parent/child discord to young people self-medicating.


“Don’t look at children as the problem, rather ask yourself what happened to them,” Jackson said.


Babalwa Kwanele, a “solutions-focused” therapist based in Berkeley, spoke on the physiology of trauma and the processes that happen in the body.


She spoke of two generations of deliberate oppression where heads of prisons and behavioral scientists developed 228 points to stop protest movements like the Black Panthers and the Black Liberation Army.


Also discussed were ideas for effective solutions like parent cafes in schools and churches, or providing a place for families to talk and share what they’re going through.


Not to acknowledge trauma and racism creates cognitive dissonance, confusion, depression and even when seeking help we have to be careful who we’re working with, Kwanele said.


Jackson’s solution involves emotional emancipation circles – a program that has been launched in thirty-five states. It teaches facilitators how to create safe places where Black people can overturn the lie of white supremacy and Black inferiority, the root cause of why Black lives don’t matter.


Pastor Mike McBride acknowledged how quickly we assume something is wrong with Black kids.


“You have to ask yourself why they don’t come to us for help. It’s because we’re not going to them,” he said. “We’ve got to meet people where they are, look at what Jesus did and how effectively he was at getting his message out…he went to the people.”


And that’s the hard truth.


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