Trauma is experiencing a harm or something damaging to one’s well being in the context of one’s cultural well-being or natural phenomenon.
This week’s discussion was led by Dr. Ifetayo Flannery, an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University. She serves on the Executive Board for the DISA (Diopian Institute for Scholarly Advancement) International Conference and as the Vice President of the Bay Area Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi). She most recently published an edited book entitled, , An Introduction to Black Psychology. She is an initiated priestess in the Yoruba religious tradition- IFA, and carries the name Iyanifa Ifamodupe Ifetayo Awodele.
Our topic of discussion is An Afrocentric Response to Trauma. Dr. Ife shared 5 ways to maintain good African mental health. These include:
- Staying connected
- Avoid going into deep isolation
- Access to good information
- Being able to extract good information gives us the ability to empower ourselves and our community, and to have a pulse on where the community is and what it needs.
- Power to organize your life
- Organization is healthy for African Mental health. This combined with being able to follow through on your goals helps to create a predictable environment.
- Being in rhythm with nature
- We are generally out of rhythm with nature due to the speed at which capitalism has forced many of us to be. Healing the the physical body is directly related to healing mentally and emotionally.
- Spiritual Grounding
- You have an identifiable and ritualistic connection to the energies and the science of the spirit that is connected to one’s self and greater than one’s self. One of the most important things in African Spiritual traditions is having a formidable relationship with your ancestors.
There were so many wonderful gems that were shared and expanded on in today’s session. We discussed Afrocentricity, Self Determination, African Agency, the necessity for balance and harmony, and ensuring that our needs and everything about our life being in harmony. There should not be any contradiction in any within our being. this includes our lifestyle, diet, belief systems, etc. We have to have alignment in our cultural orientation.
Book Suggestions from today’s discussion
Below are some books that were mentioned
- Let the circle be unbroken: The implications of African spirituality in the diaspora by: Ani, Marimba ISBN 13: 9780965982306
- Ritual: Power, Healing and Community by: Malidoma Patrice Somé ISBN 13: 978-0140195583
- Seeking the Sakhu: Foundational Writings for an African Psychology by Wade Nobles ISBN 13: 978-0883782767
Dr. Ifetayo Flannery Services
- Ancestral divination
- Ceremonial home cleanings
- Group rituals