My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts

My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts

The body is where our instincts reside and where we fight, flee, or freeze, and it endures the trauma inflicted by the ills that plague society. In this groundbreaking work, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of body-centered psychology. He argues this destruction will continue until Americans learn to heal the generational anguish of white supremacy, which is deeply embedded in all our bodies. Our collective agony doesn't just affect African Americans. White Americans suffer their own secondary trauma as well. So do blue Americans—our police.

My Grandmother's Hands is a call to action for all of us to recognize that racism is not about the head, but about the body, and introduces an alternative view of what we can do to grow beyond our entrenched racialized divide.



Paves the way for a new, body-centered understanding of white supremacy—how it is literally in our blood and our nervous system.


Offers a step-by-step solution—a healing process—in addition to incisive social commentary.

Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, is a therapist with decades of experience currently in private practice in Minneapolis, MN, specializing in trauma, body-centered psychotherapy, and violence prevention. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Dr. Phil as an expert on conflict and violence. Menakem has studied with bestselling authors Dr. David Schnarch (Passionate Marriage) and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score). He also trained at Peter Levine's Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute.

Title:My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts
ISBN:9781942094470
Format Type:

    My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts Reviews

  • Lawrence

    **What are the main ideas?** * white supremacy is more accurately called white-body supremacy. it's got less to do with supremacy of white skin and more to do with supremacy of bodies that are conside...

  • Erika Sanders

    I've studied racism and been part of anti-racism work for over 25 years, and I have to say, this book is one of the most valuable pieces of work on the topic that I've read. Menakem's teachings don't ...

  • Leila

    2.5 starsI had been so excited to finally find a book about trauma that talked about the ways that racism and systemic oppression inflict trauma, and this book was a starting point but not fully there...

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    "A calm, settled body is the foundation for health, for healing, for helping others, and for changing the world."I’ve been reading this book s-l-o-w-l-y because the author wants the reader to stop a...

  • cat

    I don't even know where to start with a review of this book. It is such a powerful addition to the conversation about trauma, about white supremacy, about bodily healing of trauma -- and specifically ...

  • Novel Addiction

    What impressed me most about 'My Grandmother's Hands', was how well author Resmaa Menakem tackled the controversial topic that is racism. He was made no accusations, and doesn't lecture the reader. He...

  • Tichana  (The Book Hobbit)

    **** 2.25 Stars **** My Grandmother's Hands was an interesting book about racialized trauma and its effects on our bodies. While the concept of the book sounds brilliant, I was a bit disappointed ...

  • BookChampions

    How are you still doing the work of dismantling racism?.My summer of learning comes to a close, and on Monday, I begin a school year marked by remote teaching. So I couldn't be happier with my last bo...

  • Anne Phyfe

    Trauma is held in the body. And many (including me) believe that all Americans carry in our bodies the incredible trauma of the past four hundred years of American history, whether unconsciously or no...

  • Eli

    I'm real tempted to justify my whole two-star review by simply reporting that the author advocates police officers taking bubble baths as a significant part of the solution to police brutality.But the...