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February 14th, 2020 4:59:32 pm

Cripping Trauma

Depression, Shame, and Projects of Collective Healing

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To be a member of an oppressed social group is to face differential risk of trauma. Using Bartky’s recognition of certain emotional states as “primordial disclosure,” I explore socially occasioned trauma, shame, and depression as gendered and racialized phenomena. Given systemic inequality, mental health can only be fully conceptualized and addressed “in relation to movements” (Barlow). This essay examines the salience of Disability Justice and the Movement for Black Lives for addressing depression, shame, and trauma as matters of justice. The ethic of interdependence embodied in these movements challenges the radical isolation imposed by differential shame and provides avenues for individual and collective agency and social change. [This is version 2 of a previously submitted manuscript that has undergone 1 round of Formative Peer Review. The previous version can be viewed at

A crisis zeitgeist animates 21st century media attention to mental health, its focus moving from rural to urban spaces, from baby boomers to millennials to Gens X and Z. Mental health crisis is for everyone everywhere, it seems. Yet, while anyone’s mental health can suffer, everyone is not subject to their own mental health crisis in quite the same way. This article aims to contribute to ongoing conversations regarding the social determinants of mental health, in the context of societal processes of shaming, their connections to trauma, and their mental health consequences. Though shame is usually experienced as a deeply internal, self-conscious, and isolating state, it is often a form of suffering “rooted outside, not inside, our skins.”(1) Shame can pervade to color the feeling tone of an entire setting for some groups, encompassing relationships and interactions therein. It can function politically to limit and constrain the agency of these groups while others benefit, and therefore is a critical matter of justice—a crisis.

This project, then, participates in broader “reconstruction[s] of knowledge”(2) with implications for collective pursuits of justice and healing. How does shame operate in the context of social group oppression? If shame, as is frequently observed, isolates an individual, how can collective efforts use solidarity to combat isolation and promote agency? Using an intersectional approach, I explore these questions by examining specific practices and conceptual frameworks of social justice projects exemplifying an ethic of interdependence: the Movement for Black Lives, and Disability Justice. Jameta Nicole Barlow notes that while “many social activists have appealed to the effects of grassroots movement work on their personal health,” more systematic discussions are needed of relationships between mental health and social justice movements.(3)

The domain of education is a crucial site for exploring the operations of marginalization, labeling, stereotyping, stigma, and other processes that situate some bodyminds(4) as normative, deserving, and competent, while others are situated as less able or deserving, or intruding in a space not their own. Educational spaces are predicated on preparing students for opportunities to advance their life prospects. In these spaces lessons are transmitted--deliberately or not—regarding who is or is not capable or deserving of opportunities.

First, I draw on philosophical perspectives and critical education scholarship to explore gendered and racialized processes of marginalizing, stigmatizing, and shaming that are structural and institutional. I then trace specific mechanisms by which social interactions can transmit shame, as work in critical psychology reveals. These mechanisms impose a heightened risk of depression for members of oppressed groups, with the potential to undermine their life prospects in various ways. Finally, I consider forms of resistance exemplified by the Movement for Black Lives (MBL) and Disability Justice, a movement led by queer and disabled people of color with disabilities and chronic illnesses). They exemplify both an ethic and a politics of interdependence that challenges the radical isolation imposed by trauma-based shame, and provide avenues for individual and collective agency in the wake of shame. Disability justice activists contribute to more expansive understandings of trauma survival, raising provocative questions on concepts of normalcy, their impact on bodyminds, the limits and goals of treatments, and the meanings of healing.


Many social groups are chronically subjected to what philosopher Debra Bergoffen characterizes as “debilitating shame—a self-destructive form of shame that, unlike the episodic shame depicted by Sartre forms the horizon of a person’s life.”(5) This “debilitating shame” is also distinct from shame as necessary recognition of wrongness or injustice in which one is somehow implicated or situated. Philosopher Chris Lebron signals the importance of this function, recalling Frederick Douglass’s 1852 message to the nation that “Americans should feel shame for slavery, given [our] country’s foundational commitment to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We were failing our own ideals.”(6) 

Trauma survivors are in a very different position, however. Because it is their ideals and their bodmind sovereignty that have been violated, for them shame is purely corrosive. It often manifesting as depression, which can be both a consequence of trauma and a risk factor for it.(7) The shaming of marginalized groups—including “micro-insults and micro-injuries” imposing a “cumulative lifetime burden”(8)—is itself a form of trauma. Members of marginalized groups also face a disproportionate risk of acute trauma, presenting a significant cumulative risk for depression(9) and other mental health concerns.

As Bartky writes in “Shame and Gender” (1990), contemporary philosophy recognizes that emotional states can be “ontologically disclosive in ways that a passionless pure beholding can never be”—they “constitute a primordial disclosure of self and world.”(10) “The search for a feminist reconstruction of knowledge,” she continues, “must be augmented by a study of the most pervasive patterns of gendered emotion” as they reveal the lived experience of oppression.(11) 

Bartky explores higher learning as a site producing, and reinforcing other experiences of, shame in women’s lives,(12) describing a gendered pattern she began noticing in her own classroom (conveyed, as in most feminist work of the time, in binary terms of male and female). Women spoke less often and less confidently than the men, and would often also apologize for their work when they approached her desk to submit a paper, “typically […] delivering the apology with head bowed, chest hollowed, and shoulders hunched slightly forward,” while “the male students would stride over to the desk and put their papers down without comment.”(13) Initially puzzled to see these scenes enacted again and again, Bartky began to understand her female students as engaging in “rituals of self-shaming undertaken in order to bear more easily a shaming they anticipated” from her as an authority figure.(14)

Bartky describes the “primordial structure of shame” as “being ashamed of oneself before the Other”—the identity of whom “will be hugely overdetermined, for women in a sexist society are subjected to demeaning treatment by a variety of Others.”(15) Women and girls arrive in the classroom already bearing the burden of this shaming, only to find the classroom itself a space of subordination. Bartky cites extensive research “detail[ing] the many ways in which the classroom climate at all educational levels may produce a diminished sense of self in girls and women.”(16)

Shame, Bartky writes, “‘shatter[s] trust in oneself, even in one’s own body and skill and identity.’”(17) She concludes that women are often “made to feel shame in the major sites of social life. […] In the act of being shamed and in the feeling ashamed [it is] disclosed to women who they are and how they are faring within the domains they inhabit.”(18) Though these disclosures may sometimes be “ambiguous and oblique,” the consequences for women are devastating.(19)

Even if educational settings may have shown some gains in this respect over the decades since Bartky’s analysis emerged, the 2016 Trump Access Hollywood video reflects a social climate in which gendered shame remains rampant. Author Kelly Oxford responded with the #NotOkay Twitter thread inviting survivors to share their assault stories, and thousands did. Analyzing #NotOkay, Shari J. Stenberg finds that “the female body” remains “a target of group shaming,” in ways that are “doubly loaded for women of color.”(20)

Intersectional analysis illuminates how societal patterns of shaming can never simply target “female,” “male,” or nonbinary bodyminds because of the ways in which race and gender are interwoven with each other and with specific cultural contexts and political-economic formations.(21) Returning to educational spaces, a significant body of research documents the persistence and power of Black male misandry and its impact on Black male college students. William Smith, Tommy Curry, and their coauthors describe Black male misandry as “an exaggerated pathological aversion toward Black boys and men, created and strengthened in societal, institutional, and individual ideologies and practices”—an aversion “that functions at the intersections of race, class, and gender categories to capture the multiple marginality Black men experience in US society.”(22)

Smith, Curry, and co-authors conducted qualitative interviews of thirty-six Black male students at seven “historically White” research institutions.” Their research reveals the “Black racial misandric microaggressions, macroaggressions, and racial battle fatigue” endured by the student participants. These experiences range from being steadily worn down by frequent racial comments and “subtle insults” by White faculty and students, to being seen as out of place (e.g., being reported to police for being in a science or engineering building, despite majoring in one of those fields), to dehumanizing stereotypes: “criminal-predator” (9-11), “ghetto” (11-12), “non-student but athletic” (12), and “anti-intellectual” (12-13). This last stereotype is illustrated when a student scores well on a math exam, but the teaching assistant for the sections insists that the student could not have earned a grade that high and compels him to re-take the exam (for which he then scores 100%). Smith and co-authors find that these accumulated insults and injuries amount to “dehumanization” of Black boys and men, putting them:

at risk for self-alienation. The self-alienated person is not allowed to be himself, define himself,

or live outside of his externally defined self. He becomes defined and controlled by stereotypes created and socially reinforced by a racially oppressive misandric system. […] The wors[t] of all is that the self-alienated person does not see himself or others like him as a full human being. Therefore, his own life and members of his racial–gender group are devalued.

It is no wonder, then, that Smith and coauthors characterize Black male college students’ experiences at historically White institutions in terms of “racial battle fatigue.”

Social Groups, Shame, “Scripts,” And Depression

Critical psychology scholar John Cromby demonstrates how societal interactions heighten the risk of depression for marginalized groups. This provides us with a clearer picture of experiences such as those leading to “racial battle fatigue” in one context, then reinforced in others, create pathways to depression. He rejects the medical framing of depression as organic pathology, finding the evidence to be “largely inconclusive.”(23) Instead, by tracing “issues of power” and their impact on individual subjectivity, he conceptualizes depression as “a form of distress characterised predominantly by profound and enduring unhappiness.”(24) Noting the associations between depression and inequity, frames “symptoms” as flowing “from the societal to the individual, from the direction of socio-cultural structures, organisations and practices to the so-called symptoms of individuals.”(25) 

I briefly sketch Cromby’s understanding of the main elements of subjectivity, then turn to his account of routinized “scripts” that (like Bartky’s students’ apologies, or Black male students repeatedly being asked what they are doing near a physics classroom) become activated in societal interactions, in ways that serve to maintain dominance and inequality.

Cromby traces how “the material resources available to each individual according to their societal location” constitute one element of subjectivity.(26) The options open to us, our “subjective possibility space,” varies among us “because material resources are unevenly distributed,” reflecting “patterns of inequality.”(27) Subjectivity also entails our experience as embodied beings. We often experience emotional states physically, such as sensing emotional tension through muscle tension, or disgust as nausea—states which can “get reconstituted to inform decision making as feelings, somatic markers which stamp putative options with valences.”(28)

Along with material resources and embodied emotive repertoires, Cromby points to perceptions and associations repeatedly expressed in our environments that influence individual subjectivity. In “transactions” with others, these associations become routinized as “scripts,” typical patterns of talking and relating, their impact magnified as they become mundane and unremarkable.(29)

Through repetition, these “transactional scripts” constitute one means of societal production of depression. As such transactions between individuals become routinized over time, they position the speakers in hierarchical relations with others. Cromby identifies three central script patterns: positioning each party as more or less capable, more or less powerful, or more or less worthy in relation to the other. Being repeatedly positioned in a lower status often entails internalizing these experiences of relative powerlessness (“however unwittingly”); they then tend to be reinforced through additional similar interactions, heightening over time “the salience of the ‘powerless’ mode of relating and being.’”(30) Through these transactions, power can take on a “hyper-relevance” for those routinely positioned in any of these ways.(31) 

These scripts are especially critical for stigmatized groups. An “apologetic” script hailing one as less worthy clearly reflects the gendered patterns in the classroom described by Bartky. Such patterns can cause profound distress to individuals; when they become routinized in a person’s life, Cromby argues, they engender depression; thus, reducing depression to a chemical/organic state overlooks broad patterns of societal influence, while failing to discern varying forms of suffering requiring varied responses. Though Cromby does not address the role of shame in these processes, nor do Williams and co-authors, the dehumanizing processes described in their respective analyses bear striking similarity to Bartky’s account of gendered shame.

Philosopher Luna Dolezal and bioethicist Barry Lyons do highlight the role of shame as precursor to depression, especially chronic shame, which they note “can arise through […] childhood relational trauma,” “minority stigma,” or “post-traumatic stress disorder.”(32) Their account of socially occasioned depression draws on four behavioral responses to the crisis of being shamed, or anticipating shame(33): attack others, or attack oneself (via self-blame or self-harm). Or one withdraw from others, or else avoid feeling shame (through denial, addictions and substance abuse, thrill seeking and other distractions).

In Dolezal and Lyons’ review of chronic shame research, “withdrawal and avoidance scripts mean that chronic shame commonly leads to states such as stress and anxiety or depression, where an individual may not even be aware that they are experiencing shame” because it is intolerable to admit into consciousness.(34) In the case of “minority stigma,”  “a salient aspect of one’s identity—such as gender, health status, disability, race, sexuality, weight or ethnicity—is stigmatised” due to “cultural politics of inclusion and exclusion.”(35) “Minority stress,” they note, “is directly correlated to the experience of chronic shame.”(36)

Research has identified a clear physiological pathway from social interactions to shame and depression has been identified: “An increase in what has been termed ‘social-evaluative threat’, or threats to self-esteem or social status, directly correlate with increased anxiety and heightened biological stress responses” including the release of stress hormones and other chemicals into the bloodstream.(37) Releasing these substances into “‘healthy’ volunteers produces self-reported feelings of depression and isolation.”(38) 

Though shame and depression can never be reduced to chemistry, this physiological process suggests a remarkable correlation with the felt bodily sense of the “transactions” that Cromby describes, in ways that I see as revealing the traces of shame. The chronic, debilitating shame in the lives of traumatized, marginalized, or targeted people (such as apologetic female-presenting students and the battle-fatigued Black students of all genders) can “persistently” alter levels of stress chemicals in the bloodstream,(39) heightening depression among these groups, reflecting the lived experience of oppression.

“Healing Praxis”(40) And The Movement For Black Lives

The stakes of routine social interactions, of course, go well beyond shaming. Angela P. Harris writes, “Police officers in poor urban minority neighborhoods may come to see themselves as law enforcers in a community of savages, as outposts of the law in a jungle.”(41) In 2013, in response to police killings of Black people across the US, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometti co-founded the Black Lives Matter network that eventually became The Movement for Black Lives coalition (MBL). However, as MBL clarifies, Black lives are also endangered through many form of structural violence, including mass incarceration, failure to ensure safe drinking water, dispossession from lands and communities, “systemic underinvestment in [Black] communities, […] failing schools that criminalize rather than educate our children, economic practices that extract our labor, and wars on our Trans and Queer family that deny them their humanity.”(42) MBL attests powerfully both to the traumatic consequences of structural violence in the form of anti-Black racism, and the resilience enacted through collective resistance and solidarity.

Following Hurricane Katrina,(43) Cara Page and other “queer and trans Black, Indigenous, and People of color” created the Healing Justice framework(44) which MBL would embrace as “the texture, the experience and the vision that guides us.”(45) Prentis Hemphill, Black Lives Matter’s Director of Healing Justice, states, “The work for our freedom exists in our organizing, especially organizing against institutions that harm and traumatize. It has also meant that the work of freedom happens between us in how we heal, how we care for one another, how we move through conflict, and how we build the skills to create a culture that liberates.”(46)

Or as Cara Page stated at the 2010 United States Social Forum, “Our movements themselves need to be healing, or there is no point to them.”(47)

Community health psychologist and public health scholar Jameta Nicole Barlow’s account of a student-organized retreat demonstrates how collective action can incorporate emotional healing into social justice work. Laying out the “structural determinants of health” that impact Black people and the intersectional burdens imposed on Black women, Barlow contextualizes the Movement for Black Lives as a response both to current manifestations of anti-Black racism and to legacies of “‘intergenerational gendered racialized trauma.’”(48) 

The Ujima Black Solidarity Retreat for Black college student leaders of “Black organizations at a predominantly white institution in the state of Maryland” occurred in 2016, following the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.(49) “Student protests,” Barlow notes, “were rampant. People were organizing, and for many, layers upon layers of trauma were emerging.”(50) Barlow situates these events within the historic context of white elite operations in Maryland resulting in structural barriers that led to physical health disparities, severely undermining the mental health and well-being of Black people.(51)

One goal of the retreat, then, was to provide “tools and space in which to unpack the emergent trauma.”(52) Thus, Barlow facilitated a “healing circle” for the group, utilizing the “Emotional Emancipation Circles” (EECs) framework created by Black psychologists. Barlow describes the EECs as “evidence-based” and “culturally congruent in their strengths-based approach,” using “learning modules…dedicated to African culture, history and movements, and imperatives and ethics” while offering students “an opportunity to unpack personal stories and to begin to address the root issues of healing Black communities.”(53) Student concerns included “institutional change […] on campus,” “colorism, […] thriving in the classroom, and managing challenges at home while in college.”(54)  Through sharing and nonjudgmental listening, they began to “uncover the gendered ways and multiple jeopardy inherent within Black experiences.”(55)

After participating in this challenging process, Barlow concludes, “EECs, or similar social support circles, are necessary spaces for Black liberation, mental health, and well-being”(56): “healing praxis is the critical matter for Black lives.”(57)

Disability Justice, Liberation, And Healing

Since healing, like suffering, is an embodied process, it requires recognizing and responding to bodymind variation and vulnerability as a crucial practice of inclusion. Able-bodiedness and mental ability, as disability culture recognizes, are temporary conditions; anyone can become disabled in a heartbeat, and some degree of disability is common as we age. As philosopher Susan Wendell observes, “The oppression of disabled people is the oppression of everyone’s real body.”(58) Thus, disability justice activists bring an anti-ableist commitment to intersectional anti-violence efforts and social justice more broadly. Disability justice attends to basic considerations such as accessibility provisions for spaces, events, and opportunities of all kinds—while raising fundamental questions regarding how ableist notions of productivity, bodily norms, and self-care influence social justice movement practices.(59)

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha articulates disability justice work as predicated less on mainstream notions of disability, and more on 1) an expansive notion of disability encompassing a broad range of conditions beyond motor impairments and sensory disabilities, and 2) an expansive notion of disability politics interwoven with anti-racist, anti-colonialist, LGBTQ-affirming, and other liberation struggles. She traces this vision across “the chronic illness and disability stories of second-wave queer feminists of color […] who mostly never used the term ‘disabled’ to refer to themselves.”(60)

Rejecting “independence” as an individualist legacy of “the massive colonial project of Western European expansion,” the disability justice performance group Sins Invalid frames the contrasting notion of interdependence as a core disability justice principle, “attempt[ing] to meet each other’s needs as we build toward liberation”(61): “‘we move together, with no body left behind.’”(62) Thus, Sins Invalid understands liberation as a collective “honoring of the long-standing legacies of resilience and resistance which are the inheritance of all of us whose bodies or minds will not yet conform”—“a movement towards a world in which every body and mind is known as beautiful.”(63)

These principles are evident in “crip” rejection of normalcy as the basis of personhood and inclusion. Piepzna-Samarsinha writes: “Mainstream ideas of ‘healing’ deeply believe in ableist ideas that you’re either sick or well, fixed or broken, and that nobody would want to be in a disabled or sick or mad bodymind.”(64) In contrast, she argues, “Healing justice [a movement at the intersections of the Movement for Black Lives, other social justice movements, and Disability Justice] must centralize anti-ableism as a central tenet of the work we do, centering crip ideas of what illness and disability are, as well as honoring disabled and sick and mad people’s autonomy and wisdom, and centralizing accessibility in a broad sense […] as a central part of how we heal, not an add-on or afterthought.”(65) Thus, healing justice (much like the Emotional Emancipation Circles Barlow describes) integrates healing spaces into the larger settings of disability activism as intrinsic to the work.

Such a notion of healing means shifting “away from being fixed and towards being autonomously and beautifully imperfect.”(66) This recognition has much to offer for the specific context of healing from trauma-induced shame and depression, which is not likely to be a straightforward linear process, nor to conform readily to medicalized models of “cure” or “treatment.” Instead, it opens up expansive possibilities for living richly outside of normalcy and linear trajectories, and for fostering inclusive communities in ways not yet imagined.

Concluding Reflections

These issues require ongoing conversation and significant collective efforts to challenge the structural violence in our institutions and communities. Explorations are also needed of the particular shame of being both a trauma survivor and a member of a privileged group. Moreover, research on social “transactions” triggering shame and depression focus heavily on the victimized party; research is needed regarding the effects of such transactions on those positioned as superior, and how their implications for an oppressive status quo. Ongoing work on the role of shame in educational settings is needed to address gendered, racialized, ability/disability, and sexual and “socioeconomic diversity” dynamics of classrooms and campuses.(67) Those of us with institutional affiliations must work to hold these institutions accountable, calling on them to institutionalize practices of justice and inclusion.

I’ve taken up critical psychology, bioethics, and public health work to sketch the processes by which trauma induces shame and depression. Healing Justice, the Movement for Black Lives, and other feminist accounts reveal the lived experience of these processes, and their societal impact as a matter of justice. Disability justice offers an understanding of healing as provisional and ongoing, valuing outcomes that depart from, or stop short of, those typically considered ideal—an outlook with much to offer everyone with “real bodies.”(68) Together, these perspectives demonstrate the value of academic/activist interfaces in communalizing trauma, and for addressing the crisis of societally occasioned depression and shame as an imperative for public health and social change. The movements analyzed here offer an ethic of interdependence that fosters connection in the wake of radical isolation, and instructive possibilities for individual and collective agency.


I am greatly indebted to Melissa Burchard, for her profound and moving work on trauma, for instigating both the 2019 Philosophical Engagements with Trauma conference and the special issue in which this article appears, and for suggesting I take up the questions explored here; to Will Copeland and Cathryn Bailey for generous and insightful readings that greatly enriched this paper; to Peg O’Connor and other attendees of the trauma conference for several days of rich and valuable conversations, including their comments on the talk that led to this paper; to Pat McGann and Cynthia Newcomer for generously providing feedback and asking vital questions; and to the editors of this journal who provided a home for many vital conversations, and supported the production of this piece in numerous ways.                        


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  1.  Don Sabo, “Pigskin, patriarchy and pain” (in Sex. Violence & Power in Sports: Rethinking Masculinity, edited by Don Sabo and Michael Messner, 82-88, California: The Crossing Press, 1989), 84.
  2.  Sandra Lee Bartky, Femininity and Domination (New York: Routledge, 1990), 83.
  3. Jameta Nicole Barlow, “Restoring Optimal Black Mental Health and Reversing Intergenerational Trauma in an Era of Black Lives Matter” (Biography 41, no. 4 (2018)), 897.
  4.  Margaret Price uses “bodymind” to describe “the imbrication (not just combination) of the entities usually called ‘body’ and ‘mind’” (“The bodymind problem and the possibilities of pain,” Hypatia 30, 1 (2015), 270).
  5.  Debra Bergoffen. “The Misogynous Politics of Shame” (Humanities 7, 3 (2018) doi:10.3390/h7030081), 5.
  6.  Chris Lebron, “Who First Showed Us that Black Lives Matter?” (The Stone, New York Times, 5 Feb. 2018, )
  7.  National Institute of Mental Health, “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” (National Institute of Mental Health, Feb. 2016. Accessed 19 Mar., 2019).
  8.  Maureen Duffy, “The Body, Trauma, and Narrative Approaches to Healing” (in Discursive Perspectives in Therapeutic Practice, edited by Andy Lock and Tom Strong, Oxford University Press, 2012), 272.
  9.  See also Abby Wilkerson, “Wandering in the Unhomelike: Chronic Depression, Inequality, and the Recovery Imperative” (Feminist Phenomenology and Medicine, edited by Kristin Zeiler and Lisa Kall. Albany: SUNY Press, 2014, 285-303).
  10.  Sandra Lee Bartky, Femininity and Domination (New York: Routledge, 1990), 83.
  11.  Bartky, 84
  12.  Bartky’s Femininity and Domination contributes to the collective activist project of the first generation of feminist philosophers, providing tools for students like myself and my peers to better understand the contradictions in our experiences, to identify our own contributions to this burgeoning new field, and to seek opportunities for agency inside the academy and beyond. It was clear from stories these pioneering feminist philosophers told, and stories they talked around, that the collective count of insults and injuries experienced as they forged a path was considerable.
  13.  Bartky, 89.
  14.  Bartky, 89.
  15.  Bartky, 90.
  16.  Bartky, 90.
  17.  Bartky, 86.
  18.  Bartky, 93.
  19.  Bartky, 93.
  20.  Shari J. Stenberg, “’Tweet Me Your First Assaults’: Writing Shame and the Rhetorical Work of #NotOkay” (Rhetoric Society Quarterly 48, no. 2 (2018)), 123.
  21.  I am greatly indebted to Will Copeland of Detroit Disability Power for his insights on this point when he kindly read an earlier draft.
  22.  William A. Smith, Jalil Bishop Mustaffa, Chantal M. Jones, Tommy J. Curry & Walter R. Allen, “You make me wanna holler and throw up both my hands!’: campus culture, Black misandric microaggressions, and racial battle fatigue” (International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 4, no. 9, (2016) 1189-1209, DOI: 10.1080/09518398.2016.1214296).
  23.  John Cromby, “Depression: Embodying Social Inequality” (Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling, and Psychotherapy 4, no. 3 (2004)), 177.
  24.  Cromby, 176 and 177.
  25.  Cromby, 177.
  26.  John Cromby, “Depression: Embodying Social Inequality” (Journal of Critical Psychology, Counselling, and Psychotherapy 4, no. 3 (2004)), 179.
  27.  Cromby, 179-80.
  28.  Cromby, 180.
  29.  Cromby, 177.
  30.  Cromby, 182-83.
  31.  While Cromby focuses only on the meanings and effects of these scripts on those positioned as powerless or inferior, this framework may suggest compelling reasons for why those positioned as superior might sometimes find themselves repeating the pattern as a means of defending this status (whether consciously or not). This could help to explain the pattern’s persistence despite its toxicity for those in the putatively inferior position (indeed, for both parties). Studies of masculinity and of whiteness that emerged after Cromby’s article indicate both the salience and persistence of such defensiveness even in the presence of internal conflicts related to status.
  32.  Luna Dolezal and Barry Lyons, “Health-related shame: an affective determinant of health?” (Medical Humanities 43, no. 4 (2017)) Accessed 15 Mar., 2019), 259.
  33.  Dolezal and Lyons, 258.
  34.  Dolezal and Lyons, 259.
  35.  Dolezal and Lyons, 259.
  36.  Dolezal and Lyons, 260.
  37.  Dolezal and Lyons, 260.
  38.  Dolezal and Lyons, 260.
  39.  Dolezal and Lyons, 260.
  40.  Jameta Nicole Barlow, “Restoring Optimal Black Mental Health and Reversing Intergenerational Trauma in an Era of Black Lives Matter” (Biography 41, no. 4 (2018)), 900.
  41.  Qtd. in Smith et al., 15.
  42.  The Movement for Black Lives, “About Us” (The Movement for Black Lives, n.d.
  43.  Healing Collective Trauma, n.d., 
  44.  Piepzna-Samarasinha Piepzna-Samarasinha, Leah Lakshimi. Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018) 98
  45.  Prentis Hemphill, “Healing Justice Is How We Can Sustain Black Lives” (Huffpost, 7 Feb. 2017,
  46.  Prentis Hemphill, “Healing Justice as a Framework” (Celebrating Four Years of Organizing to Protect Black Lives, 2017, Ed. Black Lives Matter,, 14.
  47.  Leah Lakshimi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018), 100.
  48.  Jameta Nicole Barlow, “Restoring Optimal Black Mental Health and Reversing Intergenerational Trauma in an Era of Black Lives Matter” (Biography 41, no. 4 (2018)), 896.
  49.  Barlow, 898.
  50.  Barlow, 898.
  51.  Barlow, 899-99.
  52.  Barlow, 898.
  53.  Barlow, 900.
  54.  Barlow, 901.
  55.  Barlow, 904.
  56.  Barlow, 901.
  57.  Barlow, 900.
  58.  Susan Wendell, “Toward a Feminist Theory of Disability” (Hypatia 4, no. 2 (1989)), 112.
  59.  Patty Berne, Sins Invalid )
  60.  Leah Lakshimi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2018), 23
  61.  Piepzna-Samarasinha, 28.
  62.  Piepzna-Samarasinha 23.
  63.  Qtd. In Piepzna-Samarasinha, 29.
  64.  Piepzna-Samarasinha 103.
  65.  Piepzna-Samarasinha 104.
  66.  Piepzna-Samarasinha 104.
  67.  See, for example, Shannon Andrus, Charlotte Jacobs, and Peter Kuriloff, “Miles to go: The continuing quest for gender equity in the classroom” (Phi Delta Kappan 110, no. 2 (2018): 46-50,; Jessica Belue Buckley and Julie J. Park, "’When You Don't Really Focus on It’: Campus Climate for Social Class Diversity and Identity Awareness” (Journal of College Student Development 60, no. 3 (2019): 271-289, 10.1353/csd.2019.00262019; Jason C. Garvey, Jason L. Taylor, and Susan Rankin, “An Examination of Campus Climate for LGBTQ Community College Students” (Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 39, no. 6 (2015): 527-541, DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2013.861374); Alaina Neal-Jackson, “A Meta-Ethnographic Review of the Experiences of African American Girls and Young Women in K–12 Education” (Review of Educational Research 88, no. 4 (2018): 508-546. DOI: 10.3102/0034654318760785; Monnica T Williams, Ph.D., “Are Racial Microaggressions on College Campuses Harmful?” (Psychology Today, 12 Nov. 2017,; and Nina Yssel, Natalya Pak, and Jayne Beilke “A Door Must Be Opened: Perceptions of Students with Disabilities in Higher Education” (International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 63, no. 3 (2016): 384-394.
  68.  Susan Wendell, “Toward a Feminist Theory of Disability” (Hypatia 4, no. 2 (1989)), 112.


Wilkerson, Abby. “Cripping Trauma: Depression, Shame, and Projects of Collective Healing.” Public Philosophy Journal 2020.



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