Dr. Joy DeGruy authored the book Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing, (revised 2017) which addresses the residual impacts of trauma on African Descendants in the Americas. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome (PTSS) lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can eliminate non-productive attitudes, beliefs and behaviors developed to cope and survive the traumatic periods of slavery and Jim Crow. The focus of the book is to learn and build upon the strengths we have gained from the past in order to heal from injuries both past and present.
The Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Study Guide is designed to help individuals, groups, and organizations better understand the functional and dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors that have been transmitted to us through multiple generations. The Guide encourages and broadens the discussion and implications about the specific issues that were raised in the PTSS book and provides practical tools to help transform negative attitudes and behaviors into positive ones.
Dr. DeGruy has published numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters and has developed the “African American Male Adolescent Respect Scale” an assessment instrument designed to broaden our understanding of the challenges facing these youth in an effort to prevent their over-representation in the justice system.
Noted lawyer, author, activist, and TransAfrica founder, Randall Robinson, and many more have praised the book. Susan Taylor, former editorial director of Essence Magazine, says that, "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome is a master work…Her book is the balm we need to heal ourselves and our relationships. It is the gift of wholeness.” Adelaide Sanford, Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents for the State of New York states that “Dr. Joy DeGruy’s mesmerizing, riveting book is vital reading for our time…With Dr. DeGruy’s potent words we can and will heal.”
In addition to her pioneering work in the explanatory theory and book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, she has developed evidence-based models for working with children, youth, and adults of color and their communities.