Doing anti-racist work can be profoundly transformational for White people. Not only does it allow them to live their values of justice and equality, but it also helps develop skills like listening, sharing power, and working through conflict. Now more than ever, humanity must bridge the racial divides that exist within our society. Dr. Maysa Akbar, a race-based trauma expert, and originator of the Urban Trauma® framework, deftly delineates what the allyship process is for White people to align themselves with people of color through the lens of a person of color. Dr. Akbar illuminates the concept of White Privilege, the societal barrier which breeds and sustains racism, formulated by generations of oppression. She redefines previous frameworks of allyship, and through her new identity model of allyship, she constructs a much-needed pathway towards race-based rectification for White people. We are facing a global tipping point with regard to racism. To be successful, White people must provide support in the right way. This book not only educates on how we got here but also shows how we address it and fix it moving forward.
Survived physical abuse. Witnessed community violence. Conquered the streets. Saved by education.
This is Dr. Maysa Akbar’s story. A story of overcoming Urban Trauma. It’s easy to look down at urban communities and wonder why economic and social disparities still exist when so many people of color, despite facing severe adversity, have done better.
They have broken the “cycle.” Yet there are those in urban communities who continue to be plagued by what Dr. Maysa Akbar has defined as Urban Trauma – a set of conditions that sustain modern day oppression.
In Urban Trauma: A Legacy of Racism, Dr. Akbar makes the case that since the time of slavery, systemic trauma in our urban centers is a result of poverty, overcrowded housing, poor physical and mental health, despair, violence, crime, and drug abuse.
Drawing from historical events, intergenerational biology, and psychology she expertly illustrates that not only is Urban Trauma real, but that by denying it’s existence we deny our communities of color the chance to heal and break their cycle.
This book helps me understand the impact of urban trauma on conditions in my city that my administration works to ameliorate. Dr. Akbar’s poignant stories and insight into negative, often disruptive behaviors of children - and adults - living with multigenerational trauma provides a foundation for understanding these problems and provides tools to address these complex limiting behaviors.
Dr. Akbar pokes her finger deep into the painful pulse of today’s urban communities - clearly outlining behaviors and characteristics that have proven efficacious for some but a detriment to many others. As the mother of two black boys, Urban Trauma is a cultural masterpiece connecting the dots of history and the burden of proof that deals directly with what has been, what is, and what is to come.
Urban Trauma defines a harrowing space in America’s subconscious of things unsaid, but certainly understood by so many. With both eloquence and unapologetic candor, Dr. Akbar excavates the root causes of racism and the ensuing broken social paradigms through which our youth must navigate. This work is long overdue.
Beyond Ally is definitely a step in the direction towards the true liberation of people of color and the progress of all people. Ownership of dismantling systemic oppression belongs to us all, white people not being exempt. If ever there was a hand-book to lead the way, this is it. It is truly inspiring, something that we all need to read, and all need to work!
This is a critical moment in our country's history, and defeating systemic inequality will take allies who are committed to learning what it really means to fight racial injustice. An important and timely book, 'Beyond Ally' offers a detailed road map for those of us who want to help build a more just and equitable world.
At this moment in time, a swell of white people are recognizing their role in the racism that pervades our planet. The risk to this movement is helpless paralysis when the full scope of the problem is realized. Dr. Akbar warmly invites the reader into the challenging process of self-reflection and encourages them to engage in the work of racial justice. Beyond Ally is an expertly timed road map for white people ready to address how race and racism impact their lives.