By Jordannah Elizabeth
Resmaa Menakem is a world-renowned Black therapist, clinical social worker and director of counseling services for a number of organizations, and has written The New York Times bestselling book “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies” and newest book, “The Quaking of America: An Embodied Guide to Navigating Our Nation’s Upheaval and Racial Reckoning” which gives a guide to Black and white Americans on how to prepare their minds and bodies for a racial war following the January 6th Insurrection.
“Quaking of America” shares exercises that help the physical and psychological body steady itself to be able to handle the American racial crisis, and also gives a deep dive into the generational trauma Black people have experienced since our arrival onto the shores of what is now known as the United States of America.
Menakem spoke candidly to the AmNews about health, wellness, race and his new book.
AmNews: Please introduce yourself for those who aren’t familiar with your important and impressive work.
Resmaa Menakem: I’m 55, and I live in Minneapolis, Minn. I have a wife and two kids. I’m a clinical social worker by trade. I was a director of counselor services for a number of treatment organizations. I was a community care counselor in Afghanistan for two years; I’ve been in private practice for about 20.
AmNews: Your books, “My Grandmother’s Hands,” and your latest, “Quaking of America” both talk about generational, spiritual, and emotional health among other things. How did you traverse from clinical work to the esoteric spiritual, energetic?
Menakem: That’s a great question. I decided to approach it from an embodied place because [of] what I had been saying, especially as it relates to the brutality of enslavement, the brutality of genocide. What people started to do, what they were calling “healing” is this mystical, this almost…
AmNews: Unattainable spirituality?
Menakem: Yeah. And that’s why I situated a lot of stuff in terms of history and the body and how things end up showing, and try to as much as I could [to] connect it to some type of science. I had been seeing a lot of this shifting of people who meant well, but what they started to do was make things so mystical that people couldn’t relate.
I don’t consider my work to be “esoteric”; I talk about energy from the point of view of Einstein.
AmNews: Talk a little bit about the “soul nerve,” how it unifies the nervous system.