Brewster, F: Journeying: Grievance to Grief


Fanny Brewster


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The social, political and ethical context for the American Africanist experiences of being human has been framed by the journey of the Middle Passage. It has not mattered how many years, decades, centuries, we spend buried in our historical amnesia regarding our most human condition regarding American racial relations, we always return to confront our racial ourselves. This confrontation is with the interior Self that dwells within individual consciousness, as well as the ego self that must meet daily experiences of life. This is our struggle as human beings attempting to hold onto something of the Divine.

The spiraling grievances of racism that has consumed our American collective psyche for centuries has produced suffering that our consciousness could not bear to witness. Accompanying these grievances is the grief that also spirals as the necessary kinship of suffering. How are we to embrace both grievance and grief connected to our ego and archetypal selves? We search for meaning and deeper understanding of how we have arrived—today, and how we will be in the future. When we consider the historical context of being with others in our cultural containment, we find limitations based on ethnicity. What does this mean for our future, our hope as human beings, as psychological beings? The multidirectional movement from grievance to grief assumes continuity, based not only on human behavior but also on psychological complexes—both cultural and racial. What is the journey that being human demands as we are held within the archetypal?

Presenter Bio:

Fanny Brewster, Ph.D., is a Jungian analyst and Professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is a writer of nonfiction including African Americans and Jungian Psychology: Leaving the Shadows ((Routledge, 2017), and Archetypal Grief: Slavery’s Legacy of Intergenerational Child Loss (Routledge, 2018) and The Racial Complex: A Jungian Perspective on Culture and Race. (Routledge, 2019) Her poems have recently been published in Psychological Perspectives Journal where she was the Featured Poet. Dr. Brewster is a lecturer and workshop presenter on Jungian related topics that address Culture, Diversity and Creativity. She is a faculty member at the New York C.G. Jung Foundation and the Philadelphia Association of Jungian Analysts.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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