The individual and institutional expression of the superiority of one’s cultural and racial heritage over that of another (J. M. Jones, 1997).
A personal belief in the superiority of one’s race over another; closely affiliated with racial prejudice and discriminatory behaviors, which can be an expression of bias that is overt and intentional or an automatic and unconscious (J. M. Jones, 1997).
A system of assigning value and allocating opportunity based on skin color, which unfairly privileges some individuals and groups and unfairly disadvantages other individuals and groups. It is a form of racism manifested in the governing of social institutions such as those in legal, educational, and governmental systems. It is practiced by individuals or informal groups that have internalized behavioral norms that reinforce racist thinking or promote active racism. It is reflected in disparities in, but not limited to, wealth, income, justice, employment, housing, medicine, education, voting. It can be expressed implicitly or explicitly and occurs when a certain group is targeted and discriminated against based on race. This form of racism is different from other forms such as personally mediated racism, individual-level prejudice, and discrimination or internalized racism (C. P. Jones, 2000).
The transmission of trauma or its legacy, in the form of psychological se- quelae, poverty, and so forth, from the generation experiencing the trauma to subsequent generations. The transference of this effect is believed to be epigenetic—that is, the transmission affects the chemical marker for a gene rather than the gene itself. The trauma experienced by the older generation is translated into a genetic adaptation that can be passed on to successive generations (Whitbeck, Adams, Hoyt, & Chen, 2004).
Cruel and unjust use of authority or power; harmful circumstances or exclusion imposed on some but not others on the basis of societal status rather than merit.
Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS)
P.T.S.S. is a theory that explains the etiology of many of the adaptive survival behaviors in African American communities throughout the United States and the Diaspora. It is a condition that exists as a consequence of multigenerational oppression of Africans and their descendants resulting from centuries of chattel slavery. A form of slavery which was predicated on the belief that African Americans were inherently/genetically inferior to whites. This was then followed by institutionalized racism which continues to perpetuate injury. (J. DeGruy, 2005)
Psychological distress resulting from experiences of racism, whether via direct experience or through knowledge that one’s group is targeted. It results from both acute and chronic encounters with racism and discrimination (Clark, Anderson, Clark, & Williams, 1999) that tax or exceed existing individual and collective resources or threaten well-being (Harrell, 2000). Race-related stress can add to the health risks experienced by people of color (Harrell, 2000).
A racist belief system based on the notion that white people are inherently superior to people of all other races, especially the black race, and should therefore dominate society. White supremacy is a system and an ontological framework even more than a structure of beliefs
DeGruy, J. (2005). Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (Milwaukee, OT: Uptone Press)
Harrell, S. P. (2000). A multidimensional conceptualization of racism-related stress: Implications for the well-being of people of color. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70(1), 42-57.
Jones, C. P. (2000). Levels of racism: A theoretic framework and a gardener’s tale. American Journal of Public Health, 90(8), 1212-1215.
Jones, J. M. (1997). Prejudice and racism (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Whitbeck, L. B., Adams, G. W., Hoyt, D. R., & Chen,X. (2004). Conceptualizing and measuring historical trauma among American Indian people. American Journal of Community Psychology, 33(3-4), 119-130.