Historical Trauma

The United States, thought of as the birthplace of freedom for many, is built on a legacy of oppressing and enslaving minority populations.  For generations, Africans were stolen from west Africa, in order to be brought to the United States and sold as a commodity.  America grew its great wealth through the enslavement of generations of Africans.  If it were not for centuries of free labor, the United States would not be nearly as wealthy as it currently is.  American slave owners stole not only the freedom from Africans, but also their rich African culture.  Many Americans today view slavery as a dark part of their countries past, but often do not speak about the historical effects of slavery and the systemic racism which continues to thrive in the United States.  In the city of Philadelphia, oppression and racism continue to be an evident part of life.  Many areas of Philadelphia are racially segregated.  In the 1930’s, the federal government began contributing to racial housing segregation by encouraging banks to withhold credit from areas where people of color live.  The historical trauma of racism and slavery experienced by African-Americans is evident by the necessity of the black lives matter movement.  Every day African American’s living in Philadelphia are the targets of racist policing policies.  Due to the color of their skin, African-Americans are more often the subject of unnecessary, and sometimes lethal force by police.  This is evident through the murders of African-Americans, such as, Freddy Grey, Eric Garner and Philando Castile.histoeical trauma

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