Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (PTSS) is a 2005 book by Joy DeGruy (formerly Leary) PTSS describes a set of behaviors, beliefs and actions associated with or, related to multi-generational trauma experienced by African Americans that may be inclusive of but not limited to undiagnosed and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in enslaved Africans.
PTSS is an explanatory theory which posits that centuries of slavery in the United States, followed by systemic and structural racism and oppression, have resulted in multigenerational maladaptive behaviors, which originated as survival strategies. The syndrome continues because children whose parents suffer from PTSS will often be indoctrinated into the same behaviors, long after the behaviors have lost their contextual effectiveness. The author states that PTSS is not a "disorder" that can simply be treated and remedied clinically but rather must necessarily require a profound social and structural change in Americans and American institutions that continue to promote inequalities and injustice. The author holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, a master's degree in Social Work (MSW), a master's degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Social Work Research. She teaches social work at Portland State University and gives lectures on PTSS nationally and internationally.
- Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, Joy Degruy Leary. Uptone Press (2005). ISBN 978-0963401120