Recently I found a sweet spot on Instagram. Among the celebrity gossip, funny videos, memes, nature videos, and ADORABLE pet videos, there is a special corner of Instagram users that are devoted to healing. It seemed to pop up right in the middle of my own healing journey, and it was comforting to know that thousands upon thousands of others were working on boundaries, self-love, and self acceptance. From there, I saw posts and accounts dedicated to Black healing, which I think we all can agree is a bit different. Words that I identified with: healing, spirit, ancestors, energy, guides were all over my explore page. One word in particular hit home when scrolling one day: inter-generational trauma.
It seems more common for people, especially Black people, to openly talk about trying to break the chains of inter-generational trauma. It can go back as far as our ancestors! And some of us finally are ready to create new inter-generational traditions and patterns that uplift. More than often we were taught the behavior, belief system, defense mechanism when we were young and took it with us in adulthood where it might've worked for a while but doesn't work as well these days (which is a good thing!). As we heal, and there are many ways to approach healing, we dedicate ourselves to the reconstruction of our brains and spirits to embrace and connect to living a life that serves who we are today. I can tell you from personal experience that this is not easy nor linear work.
So when I see yet another parent or guardian publicly berating their child in public, I am reminded of inter-generational trauma and the long road ahead for that child. I've heard everything from "fuckin' dumb" to "are you retarded?" to "Imma punch in your fuckin' mouth you keep playin' with me" and much more. When you're going about your day and hear these words cut through the air, it forces you out of your world. You see the child's eyes, the bag under the parent or guardian's eyes, and the scared silence between them and surrounding them. Some of us know that silence all too well and the toll it takes on our spirit, whether we are 6 years old or 26 years old.
Unfortunately, this is more political than some realize, as race, gender, class, and history play a large role in every generation. This is more than just a simple decision to not yell at your kids or to somehow stop others from doing the same (not possible). The more I witness the public humiliation of kids getting yelled at, the more I want to explore what healing can look like on a community scale. What would it look like to do a workshop series in a community center where we begin with documenting family history stories and in the process partner with artistic communities that bring those stories to life. What would it look like if in the process of documenting these stories, healing practitioners from the community participated and informed and worked with participants? What would it look like to have a celebration at the end that leads them to resources to continue the journey that began through art? This is what I would love to do. Connect communities to their resources and their power in a way that is sustainable. That is my calling and every time I see a parent/guardian lose their patience with their child, I am invigorated to continue searching for dynamic ways to empower and uplift our communities.
***If you know of any organizations that work with healing in communities, meeting them where they're at, let me know in the comments!***
Tayllor Johnson currently resides in New York City where she has begun her journey into Poet. Passion. Period. In between those learning moments, she sometimes has just enough time to jot a few lines...