Essay On Historical trauma

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Historical trauma

A type of trauma that is in many cases overlooked is historical trauma. Historical trauma can be described as the multigenerational trauma that is experienced by a specific cultural group. Historical trauma can be described as being cumulative as well as collective. The Latino population is known to suffer from historical unresolved grief (Morgan & Freeman, 2009). The population has been exposed to generations of discrimination and based segregation, and it results in increased poverty. Immigration can be described as one of the reasons as to why there is historical trauma in the Latinos. The Latinos and Hispanic were exposed to forced migration that was a result of natural disasters and looking for employment (Sotero, 2006).

It is of the essence to understand that historical trauma often result into intergenerational poverty, and this is sometimes perpetuated by government policies such as the federal minimum wage that is not living wage and self-sufficiency wage. This is one of the main effects of the historical trauma (Rich & Grey, 2005). The current manifestations of the historical trauma that occurred to the Latinos can be seen with the mistrust of the police, self-protection that includes the owning of weapons as well as the different feelings of self-worth. Further, most Latinos often fear the legal system and the fear of loss of culture that includes spiritual practices, traditions, and language.

There is a sense of internalized oppression in the Latino population and especially the Mexicans. As a result, traumatized people in most instances start to internalize the views of the oppressors and go ahead and they perpetuate a cycle of self-hatred that in most instances manifests itself in the negative behaviors, in most instances emotions such as anger, aggression are often self-inflicted.


Morgan, R., & Freeman, L. (2009). The healing of our people: Substance abuse and historical trauma. Substance Use & Misuse, 44(1),84-98.
Rich, J. & Grey, C.M. (2005). Pathways to recurrent trauma among young Black men: Traumatic stress, substance abuse, and the “code of the street.” American Journal of Public Health, 95(5), 816-824.
Sotero, M. (2006). A conceptual model of historical trauma: Implications for public health practice and research. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 1(1), 93-108.