Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: A Military Veteran’s Story to Healing


One group that has received little attention in the psychological literature, with regards to issues of race as related to the practice of psychology, is the military. The military is a unique cultural entity that most people think provides soldiers of African descent with the system and resources they need to serve and transition out of the U.S. military. Creative non-fiction Author, Janetra Johnson, is a military veteran who fought the California Guard over its segregated performance appraisal policy; during its most significant financial crisis. The California National Guard’s recruiting bonus controversy was the largest known financial calamity, probably in U.S. history, but it had received little attention.

Inside the book, the author walks her readers through the process of how she dealt with those financial thoughts of slavery and the Jim Crow era. The book is written from the perspective of a veteran of African descent, who had experienced Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (P.T.S.S.) while serving in the California Air National Guard and had managed to experience a considerable reduction of these symptoms over the years. The book tells the story of how she found out about PTSS and what other military veterans should look forward to when visiting a military therapist to discuss racial flashbacks of slavery and the Jim Crow era.

What is Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome:

According to Wikipedia, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing (PTSS) is a 2005 book resulting from years of historical and psychological research by Dr. Joy DeGruy (née Leary), Ph.D. PTSS describes a set of behaviors, beliefs, and actions associated with or, related to multi-generational trauma experienced by African Americans that include but are not limited to undiagnosed and untreated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in enslaved Africans and their descendants. PTSS posits that centuries of slavery in the United States, followed by systemic and structural racism and oppression, including lynching, Jim Crow laws, and unwarranted mass incarceration, have resulted in multigenerational maladaptive behaviors, which originated as survival strategies.”

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