Articles on the exclusion of race-based shame from Brene Brown's shame research
It's more than just learning how to feel good about yourself. It's all good and well to be told to love yourself, be kind to yourself. You can do that in the confines and safety of your home (if you have one), but when you are out in the world, you're met with a barrage of body shaming, skin-lightening, light skinned, causasian featured bodies and messages telling you that you are other, not enough or ugly.
It's about the world we live in where every person of colour is measured against whiteness being the superior, dominant and preferred identity & appearance. A world which upholds white supremacy every single day. - Sharyn Holmes
January 2018: Before recommending Brene Brown’s books to your people of colour friends, please remember that her research centres and caters to a white audience and does not cover the intersection of race with regard to shame. To be clear, swathes of people are not catered for in her work. Similarly, medical research and the medical profession as a whole is white centered and this has caused the lives of people to be lost, traumatised or seriously harmed because of an unsympathetic industry rooted in white supremacy. When someone’s work is so limited in its perspective and lacks inclusivity, can you see how this causes harm? Can you see how damaging it is? Can you see how this leaves so many of us vulnerable? Can you see how this is just another way white supremacy keeps people of colour in a shame cycle? Because a system or research methodology that doesn’t include all of us, can’t be useful or helpful to lots of us and in this case, it leaves people of colour open to further harm, shame and pain at the hands and words of white people.
On a personal note: Brene's books were not written for people like me, nor black people, Indigenous people or any people of colour at all. We are not centered in her work. I purchased 3 of her books over the past 6 years or so and they've been collecting dust for most of those years.
I did some reading and hope that the insights provided in the articles listed below help you develop greater understanding and compassion for people of colour when it come to the white-dominant personal development, personal growth, self-help, spiritual teachers. It's time to raise awareness and for you as white people to do something to bridge this cavernous gap.