My Grandmother’s Hands was sent to me by a mentor of mine from Post-Prison Education. It is about understanding racialized trauma. In fact, it’s sub header is “Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies”.

I am actively reading this book and have decided I am going to confront myself and my inner racial tensions via writing as I wrestle with difficult subjects while I read My Grandmother’s Hands. I am going to be vulnerable and honest. In this spirit I don’t know how much I’m going to write about it, how often or what’s going to come out, but as it does, I’m going to write it down and publish, just as it is. Maybe we’ll learn nothing together, maybe we’ll learn a great deal, I don’t know.

So far, I’m nearing the end of Chapter One which is laying the foundation for the rest of the book. I’m a data girl and need to understand what concepts I’m about to work with so I appreciate this chapter as it describes the idea that trauma is in the body, as in the body responds, not just the mind. Trauma is unique and unfortunately I can see myself in the descriptions of trauma that the author describes as dirty pain, a response to trauma that leads to not dealing with it.

I am excited to embark on this journey because I was raised in a highly racialized Midwest and still have to tamp down feelings that I know are bias and sometimes downright racist. I know I am subject to micro-aggressions and as much as I want to not do or experience those things, I can see room for improvement.

This subject gets further fueled by my own experiences as a transgendered woman. I experience bias, gender tensions, micro-aggression and sometimes blatant hostility and not just from white people. A black man I loved was calling the trans community “fags in make-up” as well as other taunts weeks before he left prison. I think that this book will help me understand how to free up my resources for other things. I’m excited about that.

I hope I experience your compassion along this journey. To read my updates on this, look for the title “A Personal Journaling Project on the Book “My Grandmother’s Hands” by Resmaa Menakem”.

With Love
Ruth Utnage
(For interviews or media inquiries please contact me directly!)

Ruth Utnage fka jeff 823469 C-510-2
PO Box 888
Monroe, WA. 98272

or via Jpay email service (you have to use my birth name, but, please do not call me by it, my new legal name is Ruth)

Jeff Utnage