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Black History Bulletin CALL FOR PAPERS

October 14, 2021

Historical Trauma: Past Pains, Future Promise

Co-Guest Editors: Dr. Karsonya Wise Whitehead, Ph.D.; María Colompos-Tohtsonie, MPPA; & Dr. Walter Greason, Ph.D.

Black History Bulletin (BHB), Volume 85, Number 1 (ASALH)

Although slavery has long been a part of human history, American chattel slavery represents a case of human trauma incomparable in scope, duration, and consequence to any other incidence of human enslavement.[1]

In 1937, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, at the urging of Mary McLeod Bethune, founded The Black History Bulletin (née The Negro History Bulletin) aimed at providing teachers, students, and the general reader with a foundation in Black history. Since then, the BHB has become one of the academic lighthouses publishing articles and lesson plans that are designed to provide truth, historical knowledge, and insight into many of the critical issues facing the African American community. As we look to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the critical knowledge project of Dr. Woodson and Dr. Bethune, we selected Historical Trauma: Past Pains, Future Promise as the Sankofa theme. We are looking back from whence we have come while moving forward toward who are ancestors dreamed of us becoming. We are reflecting on the social, political, economic, and cultural realities of historical trauma and collective development in the realm of knowledge building and citizenry constructs. The goal is to understand how the past has influenced the present and how the present can be used to shape our future understanding of our traumatic nexus where race, trauma, violence, and white supremacy intersect.

It is in this spirit of solidarity, of a shared commitment to racial healing, understanding and justice that we invite educators across the spectrum (K-12th grade teachers, college professors, and independent researchers) to join us in our exploration of the ways in which we teach, catalogue, remember, and research African American history.

Organized around three main areas: Historical Trauma: Past Pains, Future Promise, contributors are welcome to take either a broad approach or a narrow one. Some potential ideas of exploration include:

  1. Historians who want to explore the residual impacts of slavery, potentially addressing how multigenerational oppression of African Americans influenced institutional racism and outlining the possibilities and challenges for fostering civic social justice knowledge, engagement, and action.
  2. Political Scientists can contextualize the historical challenges and transcendence of trauma facing African Americans by exploring structural inequality within the law-making policy driven apparatus and examining how is it rooted in historical trauma.
  3. Psychiatrists can broaden the general understanding of the insidious effects of the heritage of slavery on the life of African Americans within contemporary America from the vantage point of psychic stresses engendered by discrimination.
  4. Critical pedagogical educators can invoke the use of culturally responsive intervention approaches and historical pedagogical methodologies as educational vehicles for social justice and provide avenues for how teachers can integrate social justice tenets as facilitators of change.

The deadline for a snapshot synopsis (between 250-300 words) is by NOVEMBER 15, 2021, to Karsonya Wise Whitehead, kewhitehead@loyola.edu. Please include BHB Submission: Your Last Name in the subject line.

The entire manuscript will be due by JANUARY 15, 2022, with a publication date of Spring 2022. A complete package consists of an article, no more than 7 typed, double-spaced pages, including endnotes. The article should be accompanied with a lesson plan and /or educational pullout/ supplement to enhance the ability of teachers, community organizers, or activists to apply the core ideas of the article in practice. The Chicago Manual of Style MUST be used for citations. Author Guidelines: https://asalh.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/BHB_AuthorGuidelines-FINAL-8.12.20.pdf

The editors are very interested in contributors who find ways to work collaboratively using a transdisciplinary approach (which means, finding ways to both connect disciplines and transcend them).

About the BHB

The Black History Bulletin (BHB) is one of the oldest journals of Black History https://asalh.org/document/the-black-history-bulletin/. The BHB is dedicated to enhancing teaching and learning in the areas of history.  Its aim is to publish, generate, and disseminate peer-­‐reviewed information about African Americans in U.S. history, the African Diaspora generally, and the peoples of Africa. Its purpose is to inform the knowledge base for the professional praxis of educators and scholars through articles that are grounded in theory yet supported by practice.


[1] Joy A. DeGruy, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, (Joy DeGruy Publicans, 2017).

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