Taking care during a racial pandemic.
If you did not know, Ashe Counseling & Coaching was founded by a Black Woman.
I know the effects of racial discrimination and injustice in my life. Therefore it is imperative that anyone that works for Ashe Counseling and a clear understanding of cultural humility. Ashe Counseling stands against hate and racism in all its forms. We hold the space with all people, in particular Black people, in addressing the trauma that racism and brutality inflict on the person, their families, and their communities. We are also employing the power of psychotherapy to address the racism pandemic, both in the short and long term.
"Experiencing racism is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as a post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders, and other serious psychological conditions." (APA 2020)
How can you shift the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness during a time of crisis?
Your feelings are valid—we all respond to trauma differently. There is no right way to react. Some people express anger and outrage, while others withdraw and dissociate. These feelings are all normal. Here are some tools, according to the APA, to help process these feelings.
Share your feelings.
Expressing our feelings makes sadness, anger, and pain decrease in intensity. Neglecting to verbalize outrage and hurt can lead to adverse mental and physical health consequences in the long run. Bottling painful feelings negatively affects our emotional well-being. "Sharing difficult feelings with others – friends, family members, or professionals – can help. Acknowledging and expressing our feelings helps us understand why we feel overwhelmed and can strengthen our ability to channel that emotion." (APA,2020)
Let yourself feel hope.
It can be challenging to find positive during this time. Be vigilant in finding progress or that light. If you look hard enough, you can find something to celebrate or be grateful for. Use this as your guiding light. That will keep you motivated to keep going.
Take care of yourself.
I am sure all of my clients have heard me say, "You cannot help anyone if you are, sick, broke, and poor." It would be best if you took care of yourself. This includes the basic fundamentals of sleep, rest, exercise, and proper nutrition. You also need a break and find joy. I know many of us to feel guilty for being happy when so many are suffering. Your happiness impacts your overall well being.
As some restrictions have been lifted and we are recovering from social isolation. Now more than ever, it is essential to connect with your social circle.
The outrage continues over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. Also, the deaths of other African Americans like Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor were added to the long list of unarmed African Americans that were killed, which usually have no consequences for the actions of police and vigilantes.
Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately killing black Americans, which researchers attribute to "social conditions, structural racism, and other factors."
All these cases require a deeper understanding of systemic racism and implicit bias. We have provided some resources that will be helpful during these transformative times. Progress begins with all of us looking inward, reflecting on our own attitudes, and of course, having difficult conversations with family and friends.
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature by Jacqueline Goldsby
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Biased by Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children In A Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey
Waking Up White by Debby Irving
Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
Brutal Imagination by Cornelius Eady
They Were Her Property by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
DuSable to Obama: Chicago's Black Metropolis ,a PBS documentary the history of Chicago's African-American community as never before, through the voices of its leading citizens, scholars, artists, politicians, and business leaders.
Just Mercy, a film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama
The 1965 debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley
My hour on the history of Confederate statues in Nat Geo’s America Inside Out
Becoming, a Netflix documentary following Michelle Obama on her book tour
Let It Fall, a documentary looking at racial tensions in Los Angeles and the 1992 riots over LAPD officers’ brutal assault on Rodney King
When They See Us, a Netflix miniseries from Ava DuVernay about the Central Park Five
13th, a Netflix documentary exposing racial inequality within the criminal justice system
I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary envisioning the book James Baldwin was never able to finish
Selma, a film that chronicles the marches of the Civil Rights Movement
Whose Streets?, a documentary about the uprising in Ferguson
Fruitvale Station, a film with Michael B. Jordan about the killing of Oscar Grant
American Son, a film with Kerry Washington about an estranged interracial couple waiting for their missing son
TO LISTEN TO
My podcast episode with Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan, and Bryan Stevenson about Just Mercy
Still Processing, a New York Times culture podcast with Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morrison
Seeing White, a Scene on the Radio podcast
Code Switch, an NPR podcast tackling race from all angles
Jemele Hill is Unbothered, a podcast with award-winning journalist Jemele Hill
Hear To Slay, “the black feminist podcast of your dreams,” with Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom
Pod Save The People, organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with analysis from fellow activists Brittany Packnett, Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Dr. Clint Smith III
The Appeal, a podcast on criminal justice reform hosted by Adam Johnson
Justice In America, a podcast by Josie Duffy Rice and Clint Smith on criminal justice reform
Brené Brown with Ibram X. Kendi, a podcast episode on antiracism
Apa.org. 2020.WE MUST UNMUTE. [online] Available at: <https://www.apa.org/news/events/my-brothers-keeper> [Accessed 9 June 2020].
Couric, K., 2020.A Detailed List Of Anti-Racism Resources. [online] Medium. Available at: <https://medium.com/wake-up-call/a-detailed-list-of-anti-racism-resources-a34b259a3eea> [Accessed 9 June 2020].