The fear of guns, violence, and trauma in the Black community is at an alarming rate. With more Black families becoming victim to racism against their children, the steady rise on this social phenomenon continues.
Conversations nowadays are more serious surrounding the dinner table in our Black homes. We are afraid for the safety of our children. The harsh reality is that they are judged just because the color of their skin, which puts a target on their back.
Why are our Black children not safe to walk the on the sidewalks and play without being a suspect? Why can’t our black children wear a hoodie, and not be targeted as a criminal? Why are our Black children feared by our non-black neighbors, as suspects? What has changed in society? Has this always been the unspoken truth? Nevertheless, it is our responsibility, as parents, to protect and teach our Black children how to survive in this world.
The article below discusses that and more.
Armstrong, M., Carlson, J. Speaking of trauma: the race talk, the gun violence talk, and the racialization of gun trauma. Palgrave Commun 5, 112 (2019).
This article considers the intersection of race and gun violence through the lens of trauma. We focus on two high-profile cases of gun violence: the state-deemed justifiable homicide of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012, and the active shooting that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February14, 2018. These cases illustrate not just how people in the US experience gun violence in racially divergent ways (as existing literature suggests) but also how people—particularly parents—manage the anticipation of gun violence and its trauma. To this end, we develop the concept of “anticipatory trauma” and illustrate it by analyzing a set of social practices that have emerged surrounding gun violence: parents’ conversations with their children aimed at explaining and addressing their children’s unique risk of gun violence. Building on existing literature on “the Talk” among African American parents, we analyze a racial bifurcation in how parents talk about gun violence. Specifically, we detail “the Race Talk” (in relation to the Trayvon Martin case) and “the Gun Violence Talk” (in relation to the Parkland case), which differentially construct children’s vulnerability, the social phenomena that render them vulnerable, and the appropriate solutions for addressing that vulnerability. Without understanding anticipatory trauma as a racialized phenomenon, we risk leveling the gun violence debate—and creating gun policy that is neither politically meaningful nor practically effective for addressing the broad but complex issue of gun violence.
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