chapter  10
12 Pages

Institutionalized Mental Trauma and Generational Transmission

WithSteven Kniffley

Within the context of the family, Black individuals are affirmed in wregard to the experience of Blackness as well as the protective factors and coping strategies needed to survive in a racially hostile society. However, throughout the history of the United States, barriers and challenges have been put in place to disrupt the power of the Black family such as slavery and the War on Drugs. A present day source of disruption for the Black family is the disproportionate arrest, trial, conviction, and incarceration of Black males (many of whom are fathers). The current chapter will explore the impact of Black male incarceration on the Black family. Specifically, the chapter will focus on the re-traumatization that the families of incarcerated Black males experience as both the Black male and his family attempt to cope with the separation and subsequent transition of the Black male back into the community. Lastly, the chapter will discuss the impact of familial secondary traumatization via the mechanism of generationally transmitted trauma.