The colorist-historical trauma framework: Implications for culturally responsive practice with African Americans


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

An evolution of thought and practice regarding the relationship of racism to well-being, healing, and trauma continues within social work and the helping professions. Additionally, empirical research on colorism as a key dimension of racism suggests that colorism negatively impacts the psychological and physical well-being of African Americans. However, few studies have examined well-being among African Americans in the context of historical trauma, through the lens of colorism. In this paper, the intersectionality of colorism and historical trauma is explored to inform culturally responsive social work education, practice, and research regarding African American well-being. It is the first step toward developing a colorist-historical trauma framework. The impact of colorism as a function of historical trauma response transmission among African Americans is presented.

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