Courage under Fire: Handcuffed and Gagged by the Streets


  • Yvette LaShone Pye


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.




How to Cite

Pye, Y. L. (2017). Courage under Fire: Handcuffed and Gagged by the Streets. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 21(3), 38–49. Retrieved from