historical trauma

Photo 1: Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Flickr
Cheyenne woman Jennie Red Robe with her child.
 Location: Crow Reservation, Montana
Date: 1909
Photo 2: John Tewell
A black family at the Hermitage Plantation, Savannah, Georgia, USA, about 1907
Photo 3: Marion Doss/Flickr
Prisoners in the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen, Germany, December 19, 1938.

 

Photo 1: Mathers Museum of World Cultures/Flickr
Crow Woman and Child, Location: Crow Reservation, Montana
Photo 2: elycefeliz/Flickr
Photo 3: Raymund Flandez/Flickr
A Jewish woman walks towards the gas chambers with three young children after going through the selection process on the ramp at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

©Derek Jennings

Many European Americans have a hard time understanding the concept of "historical trauma."

After all, if something happened decades or even hundreds of years ago, it's over; "move on," right?

The Australian Human Rights Commission explains historical trauma as  "the devastating trauma of genocide, loss of culture, and forcible removal from family and communities ... all unresolved and ... a sort of ‘psychological baggage... continuously being acted out and recreated..."