After 349 years of slavery: ‘We suffer from cognitive dissonance’

October 1, 2015

By Steve Waring


Dr. Joy DeGruy, author and keynote speaker

Special to The Milwaukee Times


During her keynote speech at the 2015 Annual NAACP Milwaukee Branch Freedom Fund Dinner, acclaimed author, educator, and researcher Dr. Joy DeGruy laid out a convincing and passionate defense of the conclusions in her recently published book, “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Enduring Legacy of Injury and Healing.” The dinner attracted an estimated 700 NAACP supporters, elected officials and corporate representatives to the Pfister Hotel on September 25. Johnson Controls, MillerCoors, and Northwestern Mutual African American Employee Resource Group were significant sponsors, as were Fred Royal, Jr., Clarence P. Nicholas and Paul Blackman who each made matching donations. WE Energies, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan were also sponsors of the dinner. Dr. DeGruy is an internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and professor. She is an assistant professor at Portland State University and the president of JDP, Inc. Before writing “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome,” Dr. DeGruy conducted 12 years of “quantitative and qualitative research,” she states on her Internet website. The book and her speech to the NAACP Milwaukee Branch stressed “the residual impacts of generations of slavery and opens up the discussion of how the Black community can use the strengths we have gained in the past to heal in the present.”