MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The replaying of the video of George Floyd taking his last breath while in police custody is jarring to all who see it, especially members of the black community, and many are now experiencing trauma.

Just steps away from where protesters man the memorial for George Floyd, the process of healing is underway.

“This is our community healing piece, so you guys are more than welcome to jump in,” Cara Deanes said.

Deans and her husband, artist Christopher Deanes, are providing a space for people to express their pain, frustration and even anger through art.

“When we start having a dialogue shaping narratives and having conversations with one another is healing it brings us to a place to be able to have the conversations about the why’s and the what’s next,” Christopher Deans said. “It took a lot of humanity away from us.”

Christopher Deanes says the messages painted by community members helped them deal with the trauma they experience from seeing images of George Floyd’s last moments alive, over and over again.

“First of all in order to deal with the trauma you have to understand the trauma,” therapist Resmaa Menakem said. “When Black bodies see experiences of black bodies being ripped apart and murdered it reminds us on a historical level what has happened and continues to happen to us.”

Menakem says when dealing with historical trauma, you have to let people express their grief.

He believes that’s what young people were doing last night, releasing anger associated with the trauma they are experiencing. But he says there are other ways to deal with it.

“We have to actually open our homes and our buildings with each other, and put our masks on, and just rub the brothers’ back and rub the sisters’ back and allow them to begin to move through these pieces and say I got it you are alright you matter I love you and then move on through it,” Menakem said.

Art is another way to deal with trauma.

Manakem hopes what the Deanes are doing spreads, because more healing spaces are needed to turn the feelings of trauma into true healing.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Floyd’s family.

Reg Chapman

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