The Impact of Trauma on a Black Boy’s Genius

Black pain often goes unaddressed. African Americans are less likely to seek mental health services than other minorities according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. Black children are no different. Black kids are exposed to violence at much higher rates than any other rates.

The impact of seeing and normalizing violence is traumatic. Studies say that Black youth are three times more like to be victims of reported child abuse or neglect, five times more likely to be victims of homicide and three times more likely to be victims of child abuse or neglect.

This victimization comes with a lot of traumatic implications for the plight of the Black child. The National Center for Victims of Crime marked that oftentimes victims of crime experience alienating feelings such as denial, anger, shock, numbness, and PTSD.

Kids often don’t have the mental faculty to process such extreme situations. With mental health being a taboo subject in a lot of our communities, the question is “How do our children survive inside of supposed safe-havens such as school?”

We talked with two Black men from Chicago who are dedicated to creating safe spaces for young Black children. Kendall Straughter is the founder of GT7, an organization that is designed to support the social, emotional and academic development in young men of color within the urban communities. Darnell Leatherwood, is the founder of Black Boys Shine, a campaign to highlight the awesomeness of Black boys in all of their glory.

These two brothers are