Racism Trauma and Hope Narratives in the 2015 Baltimore City Uprising
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This study investigated the lived experiences of public safety officers and protesters in the Baltimore City, Maryland area who participated in the civil demonstrations that occurred in 2015. The purpose of this study was to provide insights about those affected by the civil unrest and community uprising which followed the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, injured while in police custody, on April 12, 2015 (Moustakas, 1994). This research intended to plainly report how law enforcement officers and citizens experienced and attributed meaning to the civil unrest and racial division in Baltimore City. The study sought to build upon findings from the pilot study, conducted by the primary researcher in Ferguson, Missouri, after the uprising that originated the #BlackLivesMatter movement following the police involved shooting death of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, an unarmed black resident on August 9, 2014. At the root of these inquiries was a tacit assumption that investigation of community uprising flashpoints may potentially reveal the social forces which acted to shape the circumstances of these public expressions (Cuence & Nichols, Jr., 2014). This qualitative research study explored the experiences of racial trauma and frames for meaning-making in community uprising. Explicitly examining the hope narratives involved in developing community resilience and the influence of religious leaders in individual and group narrative construction. The express commitment of the inquiry was to understand better the factors involved in trauma recovery on a community level (Graff, 2010; Griffith, 2010; Gump, 2000; Kirkpatrick, 2005; Lyons, Fletcher, & Bariola, 2016; Powell, 1997). Also discussed are Pastoral counseling implications for pedagogy and clinical practice and issues for further study.