Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. She is an ambassador for healing and a voice for those who’ve struggled in search of the past and continue to struggle through the present. Dr. Joy is the acclaimed author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome —America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Study Guide, with a second book in the works, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Part 2: Be The Healing.

Dr. DeGruy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, two master degrees in Social Work and Clinical Psychology, and a PhD in Social Work Research. With over 20 years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work, she gives a practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society.

The following is an excerpt from a recent presentation that Dr. Joy DeGruy did on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the African American community:

"As you move on there's this illusion of inclusion that never occurred. So now we ask the question, is there still segregation? Don't you know there's something called the hood, right? So you go into any city, you go, 'where are the black people'? They're in the hood, everybody knows where the hood is, still there's no signs that say; 'next right, hood!'

What did several hundred years of trauma produce? We all are familiar with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Well Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs when experiencing directly or indirectly a trauma, a single trauma; and imagine not only your whole lifetime experiencing trauma, but several hundred years of it! But we’re not talking about a single trauma; we’re talking about multiple traumas for hundreds of years. Not only are you traumatized directly, you’re seeing your friends, your cousins and everyone in your environment traumatized.

Is it possible that those people escaped stress related illness? Not plausible. Let’s say a quarter of them experienced stress related illness, exaggerated startled response, outburst of anger, difficulty falling or staying asleep, a feeling of fore shortened future, the kind of emotional volatility that goes on physically, mentally and emotionally. Now, that’s a person that wasn’t able to escape it with your resilience, but they’re raising children. Children don’t know that mommy or daddy or big momma, whoever it is, is broken. They don’t know that, it’s the behavior modeled. What! The hyper vigilant, all those behaviors; those are being modeled now. And then after awhile it just gets woven into the fabric of things and guess what we call it? Culture! So now we’re saying, ‘that’s culture’. Really?! That’s adopted. So there’s poison in the cookies, we can’t just swallow it whole as a culture.”

Dr. Joy Degruy clip from PERES OWINO on Vimeo.