Disproportionate death in the Black community—whether from COVID-19, infant mortality, or police violence—is one of the most alarming consequences of institutional racism. The tragedy is not only the loss of lives, but in the grief and trauma these deaths bring to family, friends, and community. In other words, as Black people disproportionately face death in the U.S., they also must deal with an insurmountable amount of grief and mourning, both of which are compounded by systemic racism.
Supporting Black families who experience loss requires identifying the factors that impact Black grief—all of which connect to racism in various forms—and acknowledging how these factors become barriers to recovery.
This workshop will:
(1) Raise awareness about the uniqueness of Black grief and how it interferes with accepted theories on transitioning from grief to recovery (2) Introduce and discuss five unique stages of Black grief: despair, self-blame, move to action, endurance, and survival (3) Begin a dialogue about what programs and services can better support families affected by Black grief