Lecture Notes on “Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome” by Dr. Joy

Hey guys! So, I just finished watching this lecture by Dr. Joy DeGruy called “Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome” and I just wanted to share with you the notes that I took. I started taking notes after like 30 minutes or so. I just wanted to try some new things, so maybe sharing my notes with you could be a regular thing, who knows! I hope that you take something out of this and that I have relayed the message to you correctly and clearly. Also, you definitely should check out Dr. Joy DeGruy’s lecture. It’s very eye-opening. Also, warning: very sensitive and heavy topics on racial issues.


James Marion Sims

  • Thought slave women could bear great pain because their race made them more durable
    • Well-suited for painful medical experimentation
  • Father of modern gynecology
  • Worked on unaestheticized slaves
  • Stuck shoemaker’s awl into the skulls of living black infants to “realign their skulls based on the indecency and intellectual flaws of their parents”
    • 100% death rate
    • His reasoning:“they weren’t humans; they can’t feel pain”

The Casual Killing Act in Virginia 1705: if a slave owner killed a slave while “Correcting” them, they’ll be acquitted of all punishment like it never happened

  • White women were beating black children to death

Physician Samuel A Cartwright argued that there were two particular forms of mental illness caused by nerve disorders among slaves

  • Drapetomania: the uncontrollable urge to escape from slavery

Lynchings happened after slavery in fear of what blacks could do

In 1898 nearly three quarters of Alabama’s total revenue came from convict leasing

  • Arrested blacks and gave them 12 years for vagrancy (wandering; having no job or place to live), loitering, startling a white women, looking menacingly at a white women
    • 25% died under convict lease
      • The reasoning was “they’re convicts; they deserve it”

In a picture from Hurricane Katrina, blacks “looted” and whites were “gathering supplies”

A police officer overheard other officers refer to the deaths of blacks or prostitutes as misdemeanor murders. Officers referred to black deaths as NHI or No Human Involved in casual conversation. Cops refer to blacks on the radio as, “Just a 11-13 n—-.” 11-13 = code for injured animal

White racism affecting black people: affects things like employment, housing, education

Black racism affecting white people: …

Racism implies you have prejudice and the power to do something with that prejudice

  • A black person could hate a white person but they still could get a loan
  • White person could hate a black person and could change where that black person lives

White cops are afraid of black men. The bigger and darker the man, the greater the fear

Blacks are more likely to be put on death row. Of the 3,700 people on death row (I’m not sure the year), 43% were African-American. Cases with African-Americans aren’t given the same scrutiny.


Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KYug__74TA&app=desktop

These are just my notes and I’m not a professional notetaker or anything. Thank you for reading!


2 thoughts on “Lecture Notes on “Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome” by Dr. Joy

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