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"People of color have endured traumatic histories and almost daily assaults on our dignity. We have prayed about racism, been in denial, or acted out in anger, but we have not known how to individually or collectively pursue healing from the racial trauma." As a child, Sheila Wise Rowe was bused across town to a majority white school, and she experienced the racist lie "People of color have endured traumatic histories and almost daily assaults on our dignity. We have prayed about racism, been in denial, or acted out in anger, but we have not known how to individually or collectively pursue healing from the racial trauma." As a child, Sheila Wise Rowe was bused across town to a majority white school, and she experienced the racist lie that one group is superior to all others. We experience ongoing racial trauma as this lie is perpetuated by the action or inaction of the government, media, viral videos, churches, and within families of origin. In contrast, Scripture declares that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Professional counselor Rowe exposes the symptoms of racial trauma to lead readers to a place of freedom from the past and new life for the future. In each chapter, she includes an interview with a person of color to explore how we experience and resolve racial trauma. With Rowe as a reliable guide who has both been on the journey and shown others the way forward, you will find a safe pathway to resilience.


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"People of color have endured traumatic histories and almost daily assaults on our dignity. We have prayed about racism, been in denial, or acted out in anger, but we have not known how to individually or collectively pursue healing from the racial trauma." As a child, Sheila Wise Rowe was bused across town to a majority white school, and she experienced the racist lie "People of color have endured traumatic histories and almost daily assaults on our dignity. We have prayed about racism, been in denial, or acted out in anger, but we have not known how to individually or collectively pursue healing from the racial trauma." As a child, Sheila Wise Rowe was bused across town to a majority white school, and she experienced the racist lie that one group is superior to all others. We experience ongoing racial trauma as this lie is perpetuated by the action or inaction of the government, media, viral videos, churches, and within families of origin. In contrast, Scripture declares that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. Professional counselor Rowe exposes the symptoms of racial trauma to lead readers to a place of freedom from the past and new life for the future. In each chapter, she includes an interview with a person of color to explore how we experience and resolve racial trauma. With Rowe as a reliable guide who has both been on the journey and shown others the way forward, you will find a safe pathway to resilience.

48 review for Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cara Meredith

    I may not be the first audience for this book, but we are changed by the power of stories ...and the stories Rowe offers of herself, her family and other POC are a gift to receive and be changed by.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Crawley

    Sheila approaches the subject of healing racial trauma with the expertise of a counselor, the art of a storyteller, and all of the faith and power of a woman of God. I really cannot recommend it enough to everyone. Fellow non POCs, you will learn how to know and love your POC family, friends, church body, and neighbors in a new depth. You will see injustice in many more settings. You will cry out in new ways and know more clearly what true racial justice looks like in the church and the world. Sheila approaches the subject of healing racial trauma with the expertise of a counselor, the art of a storyteller, and all of the faith and power of a woman of God. I really cannot recommend it enough to everyone. Fellow non POCs, you will learn how to know and love your POC family, friends, church body, and neighbors in a new depth. You will see injustice in many more settings. You will cry out in new ways and know more clearly what true racial justice looks like in the church and the world. May this book reach and bless all who will hear.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Weldon-Soiset

    In the year 2020, the sands are shifting underneath us. Something has to give, but how can we respond differently as we experience a collective call to change our posture towards racism? In Healing Racial Trauma, Sheila Wise Rowe provides exactly the anecdotes (and antidotes) we need for such a time as this. The chapters of Healing Racial Trauma outline common responses to racism: fatigue. Silence. Rage, fear, and shame. Addiction. Wise Rowe also includes other, healthier chapters: lament, In the year 2020, the sands are shifting underneath us. Something has to give, but how can we respond differently as we experience a collective call to change our posture towards racism? In Healing Racial Trauma, Sheila Wise Rowe provides exactly the anecdotes (and antidotes) we need for such a time as this. The chapters of Healing Racial Trauma outline common responses to racism: fatigue. Silence. Rage, fear, and shame. Addiction. Wise Rowe also includes other, healthier chapters: lament, freedom, and resilience. Yet these responses lead to new questions: how do we ground these abstract nouns in reality? What do silence and rage, not to mention lament and resilience, look like in the flesh? Wise Rowe not only weaves Biblical examples in each chapter, but she also draws from stories close to her, including her own, to walk us through healing journeys for people of color from a variety of backgrounds. As Healing Racial Trauma makes clear, however, we must first contend with the past before we can expect healing. Wise Rose recounts, with vivid vulnerability, the horrifying obstacles that her own Granddaddy James endured: the death of his daughter, her father-in-law, uncle, and his baby grandson in quick succession from tuberculosis due to a lack of hospitals for Black folks in his community. Local White suppliers refusing to sell him stock for his general store. Only receiving 60% of the pay of a White farmer for the same bushel of produce. I admit a temptation as a White person to squirm while reading Wise Rowe’s vignettes. Yet turning away is exactly what I cannot do; I cannot pretend like things are better than they are. In fact, Healing Racial Trauma offers White people like me a powerful prescription, too. I am called not only to be one of the “compassionate listeners who acknowledge: ‘I see you, and I see your pain,’” but also to be a “presence, rather than a savior, a companion, rather than a leader, a friend, rather than a teacher.” Healing Racial Trauma is a rich resource for our time, offering concrete ways to pray for healing, a glossary of terms that will become increasingly useful as we learn even how to talk about this topic, as well as a small group structure to put these ideas into practice in our local communities. As a White person, when I am tempted to think healing for me may look like some sort of condemnation of guilt, I remember the story that Wise Rowe recounts of “Rizpah, a traumatized mother grieved by an act of vengeance” in 2 Samuel 21. This mother “refused to be moved” beside the bodies of her murdered children, children whom King David forbid to be buried. Rizpah lamented and publicly demonstrated her grief. As Wise Rowe explains, “when King David hears of Rizpah’s tenacity in guarding her loved ones, he finally grants her justice.” Only then, after King David relents, does the Lord release blessing on the land. “I wonder to what degree the church’s refusal to recognize the grief and pain of people of color and refusal to lament has affected our land,” Wise Rowe asks. When the world is increasingly being consumed by wildfires or buried under floodwaters, I wonder the same thing. Our land could sure use some blessing now. How is God calling us to seek it?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Garrison

    This is a Christ-centered book about racial trauma, it's affect on people, and finding ways to heal through a relationship with God and community. I found it very enlightening and helpful, both as a white woman who needed to better understand the affects of systemic racism and examine my own privilege, and as a person who has experienced trauma and sometimes forgets the deep scars it leaves. Sheila Wise-Rowe writes in an honest, open, and compassionate tone. She shares the stories in an This is a Christ-centered book about racial trauma, it's affect on people, and finding ways to heal through a relationship with God and community. I found it very enlightening and helpful, both as a white woman who needed to better understand the affects of systemic racism and examine my own privilege, and as a person who has experienced trauma and sometimes forgets the deep scars it leaves. Sheila Wise-Rowe writes in an honest, open, and compassionate tone. She shares the stories in an unblinking way that both acknowledges the reality of trauma while also upholding the sovereignty of God. She pulls from scripture and the latest psychological studies and theories on racial trauma, balancing faith with science in a way I rarely see but is so necessary for a topic like this. It is also refreshing to see a Christian work that calls out the church on its failings in standing up against racism in communities while also highlighting the role the church can have in helping bring about healing. I feel this book would be helpful for anyone struggling with racial trauma and seeking healing or for anyone looking for helpful insight that improves empathy and understanding for those scarred by racism. As mentioned previously, it relies heavily on biblical passages and provides prayer prompts at the end of each chapter.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emma Juday

    Picked this book up at my library. After reading it, I want to either own it, and or, spend time with it in a discussion group. I so appreciate that this book is about moving toward healing. On a tragic topic/reality, I was encouraged that here in this book were testimonies and and some hope for true healing.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sheila Rowe

    I

  7. 4 out of 5

    Janna Northrup

    This book should be required for any pastor or Christian counselor as a resource and guide to the generational depth of pain and suffering of racial abuse. The personal stories are heartbreaking and at the same time lend themselves to building bridges of understanding between the reader (no matter the racial background) and the truth of what it is like to "be" outside of the white, dominant culture. If you have suffered from racial trauma, read it. If you have never been aware of the depth, This book should be required for any pastor or Christian counselor as a resource and guide to the generational depth of pain and suffering of racial abuse. The personal stories are heartbreaking and at the same time lend themselves to building bridges of understanding between the reader (no matter the racial background) and the truth of what it is like to "be" outside of the white, dominant culture. If you have suffered from racial trauma, read it. If you have never been aware of the depth, history and perpetual endurance of racial trauma, PLEASE read it. Please.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nichole Woo

    The wounds of racism cut deep into the fabric of our nation, its people, and many I love. Author Sheila Wise Rowe has walked this painful path from her Boston childhood in the 1960's to the present. Her words here bear witness to the trauma suffered by so many, so often unacknowledged. Drawing from her deep well of knowledge as a counselor and from the stories of survivors, she bravely and skillfully points towards a divergent path: one of hope and healing. Thank-you, Sheila, for lifting the The wounds of racism cut deep into the fabric of our nation, its people, and many I love. Author Sheila Wise Rowe has walked this painful path from her Boston childhood in the 1960's to the present. Her words here bear witness to the trauma suffered by so many, so often unacknowledged. Drawing from her deep well of knowledge as a counselor and from the stories of survivors, she bravely and skillfully points towards a divergent path: one of hope and healing. Thank-you, Sheila, for lifting the veil on a pain I've been so oblivious and blind to. Thank-you for so wisely and lovingly forging a better way forward for all of us.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dorothy Greco

    Healing Racial Trauma is one of the most revelatory, fiercely honest, and hope-filled books I've ever read. Sheila performs open-heart surgery on those wounded by racial trauma by acknowledging their stories, validating their pain, and offering the only holistic solution: Christ-centered healing. This book is not only for People of Color. In fact, I would highly suggest reading it if you're white. HRT contains the stories of men and women who have endured racialized trauma and found healing Healing Racial Trauma is one of the most revelatory, fiercely honest, and hope-filled books I've ever read. Sheila performs open-heart surgery on those wounded by racial trauma by acknowledging their stories, validating their pain, and offering the only holistic solution: Christ-centered healing. This book is not only for People of Color. In fact, I would highly suggest reading it if you're white. HRT contains the stories of men and women who have endured racialized trauma and found healing through Jesus. It's a profound and powerful book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lau Maia

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stanley E.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Chandia

  14. 5 out of 5

    Janna Northrup

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susie Dixon

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dean

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Woodward

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brandy Luther

  19. 4 out of 5

    Prasanta

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christina Gilliland

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chris Ghubril

  22. 4 out of 5

    KC

  23. 4 out of 5

    Maddie Thies

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carmel

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Marty

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brittany Nasgovitz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy Wellner

  31. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  32. 4 out of 5

    Will Turner

  33. 5 out of 5

    InterVarsity Press

  34. 4 out of 5

    Chris Crane

  35. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Kindelin

  36. 5 out of 5

    Ciarán Crawley

  37. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  38. 4 out of 5

    Frances

  39. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Kersten

  40. 4 out of 5

    Kay Card

  41. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Battles

  42. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  43. 4 out of 5

    Anne Schrock

  44. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Turner

  45. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  46. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  47. 4 out of 5

    Che

  48. 5 out of 5

    Leah

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