My Grandmother’s Hands
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
‘Insightful, thought-provoking and profound. I can’t recommend highly enough’ Sunny Singh
‘A revolutionary work of beauty, brilliance, compassion and ultimately, hope’ Robin DiAngelo
The consequences of racism can be found in our bodies – in skin and sinew, in bone and blood. In this ground-breaking, inspiring work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage, the physical consequences of discrimination, from the perspective of body-centred psychology. He argues that until we learn to heal and overcome the generational anguish of white supremacy, we will all continue to bear its scars.
My Grandmother’s Hands is an extraordinary call to action for all of us to recognize that racism affects not only the mind, but also the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our racial divides.
My Grandmother's Hands invites each of us to heal the racial trauma that lives in our bodies. As Resmaa Menakem explains, healing this trauma takes courage and a commitment to viscerally feel this racial pain. By skillfully combining therapy expertise with social criticism and practical guidance, he reveals a path forward for individual and collective healing that involves experiencing the sensations of this journey with each step. Are you willing to take the first step? -- Alex Haley, Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota's Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing My Grandmother's Hands is a gripping journey through the labyrinths of trauma and its effects on modern life, especially for African Americans. In this important book, Resmaa's penetrating insight into trauma is profoundly impactful, but even more powerful and useful are his strategies for addressing it?for healing. A brilliant thinker, Resmaa is able to bring a multitude of research and experience together to guide us in our understanding of how trauma affects our lives; how trauma is a part of all of our lives; and of how the history and progression of trauma has produced a culture in which no one is immune. This is essential reading if we are to wrest ourselves from the grips of trauma and discover the tropes in which our bodies and our minds are free of it -- Alexs Pate, author of Amistad and Losing Absalom My Grandmother's Hands is full of wisdom and understanding. In it, Resmaa Menakem offers a new way to understand racism and, more importantly, to heal it. This book lays out a path to freedom and peace, first for individual readers, then for our culture as a whole. A must-read for everyone who cares about our country -- Nancy Van Dyken, author of Everyday Narcissism Resmaa's book is an intimate and direct look at the way the Black-white dynamic is held, not only in institutions such as policing, but also in the bodies of all of those involved . . . offers concrete practices that are part of the work of shifting the violence of the original wound -- Susan Raffo, shared owner of Integral Somatic Therapy, writer, and community organizer, The People's Movement Center As a career peace officer I entered this noble profession to serve my community, but I had never received any instruction in the police academy or been issued a piece of equipment that prepared me to recognize or examine community trauma . . . or my own. My Grandmother's Hands gave me a profound and compelling historical map tracing law enforcement's role as sometimes unknowing contributors to community trauma. The book gives peace officers tools that can help in the healing of their communities and emphasizes self-care so that the men and women entrusted to be guardians and protectors of our communities are taken care of as well -- Medaria Arradondo, Acting Chief, Minneapolis Police Department Forget diversity. Forget teaching tolerance. Forget white guilt. With clarity and insight, Resmaa offers a profoundly different approach to healing racism in America -- John Friel and Linda Friel, New York Times bestselling co-authors of nine books including Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Family Resmaa Menakem cuts to the heart of America's racial crisis with the precision of a surgeon in ways few have before. Addressing the intergenerational trauma of white supremacy and its effects on all of us?understanding it as a true soul wound?is the first order of business if we hope to pull out of the current morass. As this amazing work shows us, policies alone will not do it, and bold social action, though vital to achieving justice, will require those engaged in it to also take action on the injury, deep and personal, from which we all suffer. -- Tim Wise, bestselling author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son and Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority In My Grandmother Hands, Resmaa offers a path of internal reconciliation for a person enduring the generational trauma of American racism, and gives us all a chance to dream of a healing from it. -- Keith Ellison, Member of Congress and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee My Grandmother's Hands is a revolutionary work of beauty, brilliance, compassion and ultimately, hope. With eloquence and grace, Resmaa Menakem masterfully lays out the missing piece in the puzzle of why, despite so many good intentions, we have not achieved racial justice. Yes, we need to understand white supremacy, but as Menakem so skillfully explains, white supremacy is not rational and we won't end it with our intellect alone. White supremacy is internalized deep into our bodies. We must begin to understand it as white body supremacy and go to the depth of where it is stored, within our collective bones and muscles. To this end, My Grandmother's Hands is an intimate guidebook toward racial healing, one that achieves that rare combination for its readers; it is deeply intellectually stimulating while also providing practical ways to engage in the process of repair, even as we read. I believe this book will change the direction of the movement for racial justice -- Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility
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