Book Review: My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
Written by student intern Zoe Avery. Zoe is currently attending University of Louisville for Couples and Family therapy and has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Murray State University. Learn more about her work on our staff page.
In light of the recent racial upheaval our country has faced in the last several years, racial trauma has become a focus for many therapists and their clients. As we continue to research and gain an understanding of the role race plays in trauma, we must also consider how to process this trauma, which may be held differently.
In “My Grandmother’s Hands”, licensed social worker and practicing therapist, Resmaa Menakem, explains how racial trauma can be passed generationally, and how we carry the burden and pain of our ancestors within us. The key to unlocking this deep seated trauma and moving forward lies not only within our mind, but within our bodies, as well. Menakem introduces an understanding of generational racial trauma through a body focused approach, addressing where this pain is stored within us.
While others have written wonderful books about racial and generational trauma, Menakem’s book stands out with its intentional focus on the impact of racial trauma not only for racial minorities, but for white Americans too. Menakem brings a new perspective to the discussion by proposing that a key component to dismantling white supremacy in the U.S. may be recognizing and healing the generational racial trauma that white citizens may carry with them.
This book provides activities that promote self-reflection and healing, helping guide the reader through some of their own processing, reminding us that reading such heavy material is a journey in itself, but one that leads to positive growth and change if we let it.
Interested in purchasing the book from a local seller? See availability at Carmichael’s here.