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"I Believe That We Will Win": An Autoethnography of My Journey Through Racialized Trauma
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“I Believe That We Will Win” is a transdisciplinary project combining a political and sociological history of race and leisure studies as well as psychological and youth development theories. Utilizing autoethnography, my study centers the killing of Trayvon Martin as my introduction to a developed critical consciousness, recounting my navigation through racialized trauma after Trayvon Martin’s killer was found not guilty. In a thematic, narrative analysis, this project investigates the lived reality of suffering from trauma as a result of experiences with institutional racism. In doing so, the critical impact of my participation in social activism as serious leisure before suffering from racialized trauma as well as implications for radical healing through social activism was revealed. As Black youth activists across the United States drive a national conversation with the tagline #BlackLivesMatter, it is becoming increasingly important for historically white-controlled institutions to recognize ways in which it has silenced or marginalized communities of color, particular Black people. My autoethnography contributes to the dialogue within academia by illuminating the lived reality of racism as trauma, a little-used conception in the field of psychology and mental health, using theories which recognize institutional forces as significant to the development of critical consciousness as foundation.
Racism as Trauma
Activism as Leisure
Activism as Healing
Holston, Aja (2016). "I Believe That We Will Win": An Autoethnography of My Journey Through Racialized Trauma. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from