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Expert to Present on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome

February 6, 2018

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome is the topic of an upcoming lecture at Emporia State University. Dr. Joy DeGruy, the leading expert on this topic, presents the 2018 Social Justice & Equity Lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 8) in Albert Taylor Hall on the Emporia campus.

As a result of 12 years of quantitative and qualitative research, DeGruy developed her theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS) and published her findings in the groundbreaking book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome — America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing.” PTSS is a theory that explains the cause of many of the adaptive survival behaviors in African American communities throughout the United States and beyond.

During her presentation, DeGruy will examine the conditions that led to the Atlantic slave trade and allowed the pursuant racism and efforts at repression to continue through present day. She will look at the seemingly insurmountable obstacles that African Americans faced as the result of the slave trade. And she will discuss the adaptive behaviors they developed — both positive and negative — that allowed them to survive and often thrive. 

DeGruy, an assistant professor at Portland State University, will take questions from the audience and sign copies of her book after her presentation. The book is available for purchase at the Memorial Union Bookstore on campus. 

The Social Justice & Equity Lecture is sponsored by the ESU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and presented annually during Black History Month. 

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, go to

During her day in Emporia, DeGruy also will offer a workshop for ESU psychology, counselor education and history students as well as community agencies like the Emporia school district, Newman Regional Health and local law enforcement offices.

“Dr. DeGruy has a powerful message to share, and we are happy to extend the opportunity of this experience to our community,” said Jason Brooks, assistant dean of students for diversity, equity and inclusion.








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