For more information, contact Terri Baltimore at 412-392-6479
People who have been displaced experience “root shock,” the traumatic stress reaction to the loss of some or all of one’s emotional ecosystem. Root shock can follow natural disaster, development-induced displacement, war, and changes that play out slowly, such as those that accompany gentrification. The idea of “root shock” has helped people conceptualize both the prevention of displacement and recovery from it.
Root shock is a condition mirrored at different levels of life. At the individual level, root shock is the emotional trauma a person experiences when his or her environment is devastated, such as in events of natural disaster or military conflict. It increases the risk for stress-related diseases like depression and heart attack and diminishes social, emotional, and financial resources. At the community level, root shock is defined by the loss of interpersonal ties and the “capital” — social, cultural, political and emotional — that is vested in the collective connections.
Dr. Mindy Fullilove’s Root Shock focuses on the presence of root shock in African-American neighborhoods that experienced urban renewal. Based on case studies of three historically black communities–Newark, NJ; Roanoke, VA; and Pittsburgh’s Hill District–Dr. Fullilove also draws on residents’ personal memories, useful theories of person and place, and historical accounts. Root Shock is an account of the invaluable things that Black America, and America generally, lost to urban renewal, and a guidebook for anyone interested in their recovery.
Given that the Hill District has been such a crucial part of her work since 1997, Dr. Fullilove will be coming “home” to the Hill to read from this new edition. A book signing and light refreshments will follow and books will be available for sale.
Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, MD serves as Professor of Urban Policy and Health, Urban Policy Analysis & Management Program, Milano School for International Affairs, Management & Urban Policy at Columbia University. She is a former professor of clinical sociomedical sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, and professor of clinical psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, at Columbia University. Trained at Bryn Mawr College and Columbia University, she has conducted research on AIDS and other epidemics of poor communities and is interested in the links between the environment and mental health. Her research examines the mental health effects of environmental processes such as violence, segregation, and urban renewal.She has published numerous articles and four books including Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America and What We Can Do About It (2004), The House of Joshua: Meditations on Family and Place (1999), and coauthored Collective Consciousness and Its Discontents: Institutional Distributed Cognition, Racial Policy and Public Health in the United States (2008) and Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People’s Power (2008). Her title Urban Alchemy was published in 2013 by New Village Press.