A photo of Resmaa Menakem

Resmaa Menakem

Resmaa Menakem, a social worker and trauma specialist, paused. He closed his eyes and put his face to his hands, which he had clasped together. 

It was late-March, and Menakem was giving a virtual talk on racial trauma to more than 500 students, faculty, and staff at Boston College.

A professor had asked him to give some advice to Black college students, which had prompted him to collect his thoughts. He took a breath and began to speak. 

“You must develop communal ways of dealing with communal terror,” Menakem told the students. “Your own individualness won’t allow you to carry that. You must allow other people to carry that with you.”

He added: “We all need to hear another Black body say to us, ‘Brother, I see you, I love you, you are not defective.’”

The School of Social Work organized the event, which was part of the Boston College Forum on Racial Justice in America. If you missed it, you can watch it now.