In honor of Black History Month, Wellness is supporting the great programs being produced to celebrate Black History, Black Excellence, and the Black Experience. In April and May, we’ll extend the celebration by creating some of our own programs to continue the learning and engagement. We believe that Black history is our history and that it should be a focus year round. On Instagram this month, we’re highlighting Black heroes from the fields of psychology, mental health, and wellness.
The first person we’re sharing about is Resmaa Menakem, trauma specialist, therapist, and the author of “My Grandmother’s Hands,” an indispensable read about racialized trauma and the path to healing it. He merges history, the latest neuroscience, and the wisdom of our elders to understand that the effects of racism are stored in our bodies whether we are Black or white. Try this experiment: think about a racist incident or about racism in general. Tune in to your somatic (bodily) experience. Does your: pulse quicken, face flush, heart pound, or body constrict? That’s your body letting you know that racism is felt and stored by the body. Practicing mindful awareness of this pain can help us navigate difficult conversations and help us step out of bystander status and into the role of “upstander.” Because whatever the level of charge in white bodies, it is exponentially more traumatic in Black bodies. We can’t recommend Resmaa’s book strongly enough but you can also check out this wonderful interview with him as part of the Civil Conversation Project here.
For updates, tips and advice, follow Wellness on Social Media: Instagram @acalaneswellness