Living While Black: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Racial Trauma

Over the past 15 years, anti-racist and psychologist Guilaine Kinouani’s research, writing and workshops have focused on how racism affects both physical and mental health. Based on her findings, she has devised tried and tested psychological strategies to help protect Black people from the harmful effects of verbal, physical and structural racism and, to mitigate the impact of whiteness on them.Her mission is to help thousands to find peace with her first book, Living While Black

In the last few years, Black communities around the world have embraced the importance of mental health and wellbeing – accompanying hashtags on social media #selfcare #Blackjoy #Blacklove – have become coping mechanisms to navigate their way through social unrest and everyday racism. Living through so much trauma in the digital era has led to a great need for guidance and mental health support within Black communities, as they seek innovative ways to protect their collective well-being in a continuing context of institutional racism within mental health services.  

Living While Black, gives voice to the diverse experiences of Black people around the world and uses lived experience, powerful case studies and eye-opening research to offer expert guidance on how to: set boundaries and process micro-aggressions; protect children from racism; handle difficult race-based conversations; navigate the complexities of ‘Black love’; and identify and celebrate the wins. 

Kinouani empowers Black readers to adopt self-care mechanisms to help improve their day-to-day wellness to help them thrive, not just survive, and find hope, beauty – or even joy – in the face of racial adversity. She also provides a vital resource for those who support black people and allies who wish to understand the impact of racism and how they can help. 

With the rise of far-right ideologies and the increase in race hate crimes*, Living While Black is a timely and instrumental book in moving conversations from defining and tackling anti-Blackness towards focusing on healing and supporting the mental health of those who have faced prejudice, discrimination, the violence of white supremacy and are living with its lasting effects. 

Kinouani says:

‘Though resistance runs through our veins, the harm of racism is real – with Living While Black, I want to convey both messages. I want to engage the reader in deep and at times challenging thinking on the impact of racial trauma on their own life, offer practical strategies to support self-care, and advice on how to resist racism using psychological tools. This book will empower and validate Black readers across the globe, leaving them more confident in their ability not only to survive but also to thrive despite anti-Blackness. It will also connect White readers to the lived reality of Blackness and increase their commitment to racial justice and anti-racism.’ 

About the author

Guilaine Kinouani is a UK-based French radical/critical psychologist of Congolese descent. She’s a feminist, therapist, equality consultant and award-nominated writer of the blog, RaceReflections.co.uk. She works as a Senior Psychologist and is an Adjunct Professor at Syracuse University, London. Kinouani leads Race Reflections and its Academy which provide workshops on anti-racism, racial trauma, and self-care. She has spoken about racial trauma at TEDxUCL women, the University of Cambridge, and University of London, among others. She tweets as @KGuilaine 

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