Dear Culture

The Great Unlearning

Episode 98

Read the full transcript here.

What happens when the apple falls a little too close to the tree? This week on the Dear Culture podcast, our hosts, theGrio Social Media Director Shana Pinnock and theGrio Managing Editor of Politics and Washington Correspondent Gerren Keith Gaynor, talk breaking generational curses, embracing ancestral gifts and living life on our own terms.  

Generational cycles, curses, whatever you want to call them — we’re all talking about them. With so much happening in the world, more and more folks are turning inward to reflect on, not only themselves, but also – the folks that came before them. 

Gaynor says Black Americans are starting to unpack and interrogate how our roots and ties to our painful past manifest as patterns and cycles that affect the present.

Black parents reads book to child
(Photo: Adobe Stock)

“When you look at the history of Black people in particular, you know, we endured the deepest traumas with slavery and our families being separated, our women being raped and pillaged, babies being ripped from their mother’s arms,” said Gaynor. “That’s deep trauma that I don’t think the larger Black community has been able to really heal from, and we’re starting to see the beginnings of all of that.”

Pinnock says despite its many downsides, one of the gifts of social media is the ways in which it has helped folks find community and language to help them process some of their experiences as well as name and identify the habits, patterns and behaviors they’d like to unlearn.  

“There are so many social media influencers who are using their platforms to give voice to a lot of the traumas that I think so many of us have, but we don’t know how to verbalize them,” said Pinnock. “I don’t really think we know how to talk about them, but they’re giving us the tools to not only recognize them and talk about them, but also to figure out how are we going to unlearn them for the future?”

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Pinnock pointed to social media stars like Natasha Nelson, who goes by the name Supernova Momma online and uses her platform to help parents and families learn more effective tools for communicating with and positively discipling children. 

With every curse there is a gift and both Pinnock and Gaynor say there is much to be grateful for in the way of ancestral blessings. 

Tune into the Dear Culture podcast to hear the entire inspiring conversation, including how Shana and Gerren say breaking generational cycles has changed their families for the better.  

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