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Justice
5 MINS

The Trauma of Racism

PRESENTED BY Radiance Talley | Oct 8, 2020
5 MINS

“Multigenerational trauma is, of course, something that African Americans experience profoundly,” says Masud Olufani, a Baha'i living in Atlanta, Georgia. In this short clip from “The Race Unity Project,” he discusses different types of trauma, how they impact the Black community, and why honesty about this trauma is necessary for healing.

Masud explains that the African American community has been afflicted with this multigenerational trauma since slavery — “the actual removal of yourself from your country of origin, from your culture of origin, from your language.” Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, referred to this trauma as “such grievous and slow-healing wounds.”

Masud says there’s also a second offense that we can’t ignore: “The coopting of the historical record and the institutionalization of lying as a way to justify evil behavior.” The trauma caused by this, he says, is “perhaps even more insidious.”

Indeed, telling the truth about our past and present is a goal of Journalism for Change, Inc, a nonprofit media organization founded by filmmaker and human rights activist Maziar Bahari. As part of that, “The Race Unity Project” tells “the century-long story of the American Baha’i community and its efforts — as well as its tests and challenges — in promoting race unity.”

Watch as Masud shares his thoughts on the trauma caused by racism and why the teachings of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith, remind him, “I’m never without hope. I’m never without a future. I’m never without a certainty in the destiny of humanity.”

Radiance Talley is a staff writer at BahaiTeachings.org and a corporate communications associate at One Planet Group. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in communication, a College Park Scholars Arts Citation, and a cognate in journalism. In addition to her writing,...

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