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Unchained: Generational Trauma And Healing

Healing Racial Wounds: A look at biblical trauma healing which encourages talking and listening to each other’s stories, and then relying on our faith to offer forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
Healing Racial Wounds: A look at biblical trauma healing which encourages talking and listening to each other’s stories, and then relying on our faith to offer forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.

Airs Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Explore the Roots of American Racism and the Processes that Usher Lasting Reconciliation

“Unchained: Generational Trauma and Healing” is a one-hour documentary that examines the lingering trauma handed down from the American slavery system.

Unchained: Generational Trauma And Healing: Trailer

For example, Reverend Keith Williams the great-great-grandson of a sharecropper describes how he broke the emotional chains passed down from his slave ancestors.

We meet five generations of his family staring with Williams’ 98-year old grandmother who lived through the Jim Crow Era and his 76-year-old mother who experienced the Civil Rights Movement.

Only when Williams decides to address his hidden and unspoken hurts do we reveal real healing – a transformation seen in his children and grandchildren.

Rev. Keith Marshall Williams is the senior pastor of Nazarene Church in Philadelphia and president of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention. He shares his personal story of generational trauma as the great-grandson of a slave.
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
Rev. Keith Marshall Williams is the senior pastor of Nazarene Church in Philadelphia and president of the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention. He shares his personal story of generational trauma as the great-grandson of a slave.

Others demonstrate the moral courage needed to face their racial attitudes:

Dr. Greg Thompson, raised in a family with supremacist roots describes his trauma of shame and confusion growing up in a community that looked down on blacks.

Dr. Greg Thompson is a pastor and scholar who examines his family background of white supremacy, and talks about the steps he and his congregation have taken to repent of racist thinking.
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
Dr. Greg Thompson is a pastor and scholar who examines his family background of white supremacy, and talks about the steps he and his congregation have taken to repent of racist thinking.

And Dr. David Waltz, a leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, who with honesty and bravado bears the distress from the “collective sin” of his denomination’s 150 years of injustice.

Both describe the steps they took inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream when he said, “but the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community.”

Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School describes "Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome," the vulnerability that African Americans carry from generation to generation. He explains how unresolved trauma stemming back to slavery manifests personally and socially today.
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School describes "Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome," the vulnerability that African Americans carry from generation to generation. He explains how unresolved trauma stemming back to slavery manifests personally and socially today.

Described by Charisma Magazine as "healing in itself," this documentary brings to life stories of courageous community leaders that dare to repent, forgive and heal from the wounds of the past.

In this hour, viewers face the roots of American racism and the processes that bring lasting reconciliation.

Phyllis Smith, cousin of Emmett Till, whose 1954 murder catalyzed the Civil Rights Movement. Smith discusses the trauma trapped in her heart and the healing that comes from her Christian faith.
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
Phyllis Smith, cousin of Emmett Till, whose 1954 murder catalyzed the Civil Rights Movement. Smith discusses the trauma trapped in her heart and the healing that comes from her Christian faith.

Topics Covered:

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The trauma experienced by African Americans passed down multi generations due to untreated and undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder from slaves and their descendants.

Graphic shows a "slave sale." Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The trauma experienced by African Americans passed down multi generations due to untreated and undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder from slaves and their descendants. (undated)
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
Graphic shows a "slave sale." Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The trauma experienced by African Americans passed down multi generations due to untreated and undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder from slaves and their descendants. (undated)

History of Black Church in America: African-American leaders describe how from the earliest history of slavery in the Americas to today’s racial divide, African Americans found refuge at church.

History of Black Church in America: African-American leaders describe how from the earliest history of slavery in the Americas to today’s racial divide, African Americans found refuge at church (pictured). (undated photo)
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
History of Black Church in America: African-American leaders describe how from the earliest history of slavery in the Americas to today’s racial divide, African Americans found refuge at church (pictured). (undated photo)

History of Southern Baptist Denomination: A look at the 150-year-old history and its controversial resolution when its leaders apologized for its support of slavery.

The Great Migration: A period of 60 years in American History beginning in 1915 when over 6 million southern blacks moved to the northern states seeking jobs and a better life.

The Great Migration: A period of 60 years in American History beginning in 1915 when over 6 million southern blacks moved to the northern states seeking jobs and a better life. (undated photo)
Courtesy of Life Focus Communications
The Great Migration: A period of 60 years in American History beginning in 1915 when over 6 million southern blacks moved to the northern states seeking jobs and a better life. (undated photo)

Healing Racial Wounds: A look at biblical trauma healing which encourages talking and listening to each other’s stories, and then relying on our faith to offer forgiveness, healing and reconciliation.

Credits:

A Life Focus Communications production. Producer is Mona Heinnen.