25 Jan 2021
Living While Black: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Racial Trauma by Guilaine Kinouani
‘Living While Black’ by Guilaine Kinouani seeks to apply practitioner-led therapeutic strategies to the field of mental health, as it relates to tackling the physical and mental harm caused by systemic and structural oppression, experienced by people racialised as Black.
In an attempt to decenter ‘whiteness’ from Psychotherapy, Guilaine reflects on her own personal experiences, as a UK based French woman of Congolese descent, as an anti-racist educator, and as a therapist, she provides evidence-based and practical measures in overcoming racial trauma by inviting the reader to adopt a self-care approach.
The book aims to confront the complexities and nuances of Blackness, then guides the reader to create a radical self-care plan. Against the backdrop of ‘intersectional violence, intergenerational wounds, cultural homelessness’ and institutional racism, which permeates every strata in society Guilaine, gently but comprehensively provides a road map, that allows one to be visible and heard, whilst navigating white supremacy.
Photo of Psychologist Guilaine Kinouani
Many people chose not to go to therapy, for many reasons. Distrust; misunderstanding; lack of cultural competency within the field; time and expense or shame. When the bold move is made, many are left feeling worse, owing to Psychotherapy and Mental Health services being starved of resources and a lack of Black professionals.
Hence, the reader is presented with an array of case studies, tools and strategies to plan a course of action, with various activities that help connect people to their ancestry, community and history, in order to nurture one’s mind, body and soul.
Structured over eight chapters, with subjects ranging from Being Black, Black Minds, Black Bodies, Raising Black Children; Working while Black, Black Love and Black Resistance – this is a timely and powerful book in the hands of those seeking healing for the mind, and a society devoid of racism and anti-blackness.
The tools contained in this densely packed book, will aid the healing process, the social analysis will give you clarity about the historical context of racism as a socially fabricated construct, and the tools to reflect, become more self-aware, and help uproot all ills that limit you from living boldly in your blackness.
Kinouani says: ‘Though resistance runs through our veins, the harm of racism is real – with Living While Black, I want to convey both messages. I want to engage the reader in deep and at times challenging thinking on the impact of racial trauma on their own life, offer practical strategies to support self-care, and advice on how to resist racism using psychological tools. This book will empower and validate Black readers across the globe, leaving them more confident in their ability not only to survive but also to thrive despite anti-Blackness. It will also connect White readers to the lived reality of Blackness and increase their commitment to racial justice and anti-racism.’
If you have unresolved trauma, are dealing with racism or what to champion and empower Black people as a good alley this book is for you.
Living While Black will be launched on the 25th March followed by its official release on the 15th April 2021 by Ebury Press.
You can pre-order the Paperback and Kindle edition here
Header Image: Artwork by visual artist Stephen Towns