Racial trauma, an ongoing consequence of historical trauma, has deleterious effects on the well-being of Africana communities. The psychological literature primarily reflects individual processes in the relationship between racial trauma and healing. Going beyond individualistic approaches, we present a community healing framework informed by multidisciplinary scholarship: Community Healing and Resistance Through Storytelling (C-HeARTS). Three major components of the framework are delineated: (a) justice as both a condition of and an outcome of community healing; (b) culturally syntonic processes (i.e., storytelling and resistance) that direct the renarrating of trauma and act as conduits for transformation; and (c) psychological dimensions (i.e., connectedness, collective memory, and critical consciousness) that promote justice-informed outcomes. In the C-HeARTS framework, community is advanced as an agent of change while centering justice and the important role of cultural practices to facilitate community healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-121
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • African Americans
  • community healing
  • justice
  • racial trauma
  • storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology


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