Transgenerational Trauma

Raw Truth
Credit given to unknown author

Can trauma from slavery be passed from one generation to the next?  According to Rachel Yehuda, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Mt Sinai, Icahn School of Medicine, “This is possible.”  An article on Atlanta Black Star’s website stated, “Dr. Yehuda conducted a research study on Jewish holocaust survivors to show how trauma is passed through DNA, a process called epigenetic change.”  Her research revealed when people experience trauma, it changes not only their genes, but also the genes of future generations in obvious ways.  After hundreds of years in bondage, Jim Crow laws, and systematic discrimination today, is there a possibility that trauma has altered the DNA of black people?  If so, this would certainly provide answers to a lot of questions.  Sociologist, Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary coined the phrase, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS)” to coincide with trauma suffered by black people.  The says, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome is like a curse passing through the DNA of black people.”  So, if the holocaust caused so much physical, psychological, and emotional damage to Jewish survivors, that it would alter the genes of their descendants than how much damage did two-hundred and fifty years of brutal slavery do to the DNA of the descendants of slaves?

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Public Note:  The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own, others who comment, and do not reflect the view of, Mt Sinai Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine,, or any of their affiliates or partners.


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