Courage Under Fire: Handcuffing And Gagged By The Streets


  • Yvette LaShone Pye SAINT MARY'S U OF MN


Black Lives Matter, geo-historical trauma, urban violence, neurotransmission redesign


My university invited me to lead a discussion on a panel titled #Black Lives Matter and the Unfinished Business of the Civil Rights Movement. I had many thoughts about the invitation to this event: 1). It occurred to me that the mostly White audience might not know about the trauma being Black in this country causes, and how much Black lives actually do matter. 2).They also might need to be reminded that Whites are just as responsible for the unfinished business of the Civil Rights Movement as everyone else. 3). Would I be fired for speaking truth to power concerning our social dilemma? 4). Alternatively, would leading this discussion help me regain my voice stolen from the turbulent life experiences as a Black woman, mother, professional, sister, and daughter, surviving environments that seem to need to annihilate anyone like me? 5). How could I help my audience understand the trauma of institutionalized racism and offer meaningful solutions? First, I offered a geo-historical examination of Black lives ending in urban areas at the hands of Whites and law enforcement. Then, I offered scientific strategies that could change perceptions on racial interactions, and therefore, impact social and moral equity.

Author Biography

Yvette LaShone Pye, SAINT MARY'S U OF MN

Yvette LaShone Pye is an Associate Professor at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in the Doctor of Leadership Program where she enjoys teaching and advising doctoral students. She has supervised 12 (twelve) completed dissertations and created a new program elective non-Western Cultural Thought: An Ethnographic Approach to Research and Leadership. She also continues to work in community and youth services, mentoring, speaking, and leadership.

Published her memoir Going from the Projects to Ph.D.: Transcending My Geography.

She’s the founder of the Dream Big Institute and the Pye Foundation for Education and Literacy.




How to Cite

Pye, Y. L. (2016). Courage Under Fire: Handcuffing And Gagged By The Streets. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 21(3), 38–49. Retrieved from