We are suffering: According to the Center for Hate and Extremism, Black people are the most hated race in America. Combine this experience with over 400 years of racism, discrimination, and second class citizenship along with the various forms of social control used to attempt to subjugate Black people (e.g., lynching and mass incarceration) and you have a race of people who have endured chronic generational trauma. The ongoing experience of chronic hate and generationally transmitted trauma have negatively influenced the physical and psychological health of Black individuals with many studies suggesting a strong link between chronic illness and racial trauma. We should go to therapy because we got a lot to talk about.
We are resilient: Encoded in the DNA of every Black individual is the resourcefulness, strength, and connectedness that was needed to survive a metaphorical “splitting of self.” The Africans transported across the Middle Passage essentially had their cultures forcibly removed from them and had to recreate a sense of self from nothing with only memories and stories to guide them as the generations progressed. However, out of this process arose a Black culture that has been revered for its authenticity, creativeness, and ability to give voice and connect others. The process of therapy can help Black people to rediscover their resiliency.
We get better: Although, Black individuals are the least likely of any racial group to seek out therapy services, we get better at rates equal to or greater than our counterparts when we engage in therapy. Recent research has found that around 80% of Black individuals who participate in therapy report a significant reduction in distress. Our natural way of being as a culture supports this process through our emphasis on relationship building, narration and verbal communication, emotional expression, and process orientation. Essentially, who we are as a people helps us get better through the process of therapy.