Published September 17, 2019 | Version 1
Journal article Open

Cultural Identity of Colonialism: Traumatic Effects of Slavery and Racism


This paper outlines ways of conceptualizing and understanding the intergenerational impact of slavery and colonialism. In consideration of the volatile and emotive nature of this subject I shall define what I mean by black issues. I am using a working definition of black issues rather than present myself as the expert on this theme. The term 'black' in this context is a political and sociological term applied to the most visible minority in the UK who are vulnerable to white racism. Black people are the least represented in the field of psychotherapy and counselling and there may be several reasons for this. For example Taboos about washing dirty linen in public and sharing family behaviours and culturally specific conflicts with individuals outside of their communities of origin and their networks. Suspicion about the use of traditional therapies that may be culturally inappropriate and exclusion and misunderstanding due to institutional racism may also be another cause. Having said this, although the term black is generally used to affirm the rich African and Asian heritage of colonised peoples, it is important to be clear that not all Africans, Caribbean peoples and Asians identify as 'black'. Indeed a Caribbean artist friend alluding to 'black as a transitional phase through authentic identity development insists that you are black until you are African. In the book I have referred to black issues as pertaining to the experiences and concerns in the lives of black people of which racism has a significant influence. This outlook can therefore be used as model for therapeutic understanding of oppressive influences on other minority groups.


Cultural Identity of Colonialism Traumatic Effects of Slavery and Racism.pdf