Francesca Maximé – ReRooted – Ep. 13 – Resmaa Menakem

Resmaa Menakem

In this episode of the Rerooted Podcast, Francesca shares a conversation with author, social worker, and psychotherapist Resmaa Menakem around working with racialized trauma on a collective level.

Resmaa Menakem is a visionary Justice Leadership coach, organizational strategist, and master trainer. He is an accomplished author of three books, including My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma, and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Phil shows as an expert on conflict mediation, self-care and healing. You can learn more about him, and sign up for his free Racialized Trauma 5-Day eCourse, at

The HIPP Theory

Francesca and Resmaa begin their conversation about trauma, and how racialized trauma impacts an entire group of people rather than just the individual. Resmaa shares his HIPP Theory, which articulates the different aspects of trauma, including what is passed down through the generations.

“What actually happens when you watch somebody being whipped? What actually happens to the body that’s witnessing that?” – Resmaa Menakem

RamDev talks about working with trauma on Healing at the Edge Ep. 34
White Body Supremacy (19:07)

Resmaa takes over the show and asks Francesca about her experience around the concept of  white body supremacy in the spiritual community. They discuss the fallacy of color blindness and the danger of taking a spiritual bypass when it comes to racialized trauma.

“There is no heat and no energy in comfort. And this whole structure is built around white comfort. The only heat and energy is in the edge of leaning into the suffering of not being aware that there is a structure that is built on white bodies being the standard of human.” – Resmaa Menakem

Discomfort Tolerance (40:11)

Francesca dives deeper into the idea of discomfort tolerance. Resmaa talks about needing to put in the reps and slowly work your way into being able to hold onto the discomfort. It’s about biting off a little bit at a time, not filling your mouth with more than you can chew.

“The moment we start to experience any discomfort. We create these very elaborate dodges around it that look like healing, that look like social moving and caring, but are actually dodges.” – Resmaa Menakem

We carry our stories inside of us. Some are easier to tell than others. There are tales we polish into well-formed, amusing anecdotes. Others we bury deep until they rise up and take us by surprise.  Some we don’t even know we carry—these stories are born from secrets we’ve kept or the secrets we uncover.
Join  New York Times  best-selling author Dani Shapiro. For an experience that will continue to transform you long after you return home.  This workshop is inspired by her most recent memoir,  Inheritance, in which she unlocks her own  identity after learning a deeply buried family secret. In it she integrates her expertise in excavating life stories and articulating the transcendence of self-discovery and self-definition. Learn more about this retreat at


Images via Resmaa Menakem