Black Psychological Functioning and the Legacy of Slavery

Myths and Realities
  • William E. CrossJr.
Part of the The Plenum Series on Stress and Coping book series (SSSO)


The collective or group trauma model being explored in this volume requires that we first identify a group that has experienced a jolting, unpredictable, and monstrous assault. Second, we must be able to identify an unambiguous period that marks the termination of the trauma, for then, and only then, can we establish a before-and-after frame of reference. More specifically, the experiences of the group following the trauma must be more normative or nontraumatic in nature. When these conditions are met, we document the trauma and its termination, and then try to determine whether attitudes and behaviors originally elicited by the trauma have been passed down to the immediate and extended kin of the original victims, even though the survivors and their progeny live under conditions that are a far cry from the period of trauma. When such transcendence is confirmed across several decades or longer, we speak of the intergenerational legacy of the trauma.


Black Woman Black Community Black People Black Child Slave Owner 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. CrossJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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