White-body supremacy is always functioning in our bodies. It operates in our thinking brains, our assumptions, and mental shortcuts…But it operates most powerfully in our lizard brains, inciting the fight, flee, or freeze response … (Menakem p.6)
Menakem realizes racialized trauma stems from white supremacy that is deeply embedded in American society. More importantly, Menakem teaches readers trauma is simply an irrational reaction that can be passed intergenerationally and subsequently causes a fight, flee or freeze response that can show up in (and often hinder) everyday interactions. In understanding the somatic effects of racialized trauma Menakem teaches readers how to navigate white supremacy to reach healing while acknowledging healing practices are often painful and challenging.
Sometimes people are accustomed to overriding their feelings and pain to get by day to day, until something/someone challenges them to think differently and seek change. It is only by doing the healing work that we can learn to relate and move differently together in the world. I would recommend My Grandmother’s Hands to anyone who is looking to heal from what can appear to be a somatic-conditioned lifestyle. My experience with this book’s practices brought serenity and a new level of understanding to responses of intergenerational trauma.