Racialized Violence in the Lives of Black People: Illustrations From Haiti (Ayiti) and the United States

MarieGuerda Nicolas, Chalmer E.F. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Notwithstanding the cessation of the transatlantic slave trade in the 19th century and the end of "classical" colonization in African and Caribbean nations in the last century, racialized violence persists and continues to adversely impact the lives of African-descended people throughout the world. In this article, racialized violence involving Black people refers to physical acts and structural processes that prove injurious or deadly to Black people as Black people. The structural manifestations of racialized violence include unjust laws and normative practices that constrain the fulfillment of Black people's basic needs (like safety) and diminish their pursuit of liberation from persistent oppression. Using Nicolas's systemic and long-standing work in Haiti (Ayiti) as an illustration, we describe how the objectives of ending Black racialized violence and achieving genuine liberation from racism are integral to Black psychological health. Highlighting how racialized violence "works" in maintaining societal racism over the course of history in 2 settings-Ayiti and the United States, we urge psychologists worldwide to improve their practices with Black people by (a) instituting (new) norms that unsilence Black voices in treatment and research, (b) (re)committing to a process of peace promotion that forcefully disrupt the systemic perpetuation of racism, and (c) advancing an agenda of every-day activism aimed at increasing the health and life chances of Black people within and across the diaspora.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Psychologist
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Blacks
  • Humanitarian
  • Racialized violence
  • Racism
  • Slavery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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