In Reggie Ford’s bold reassessment of the Black experience in America, he demonstrates that a new understanding of PTSD is required. PTSD, Perseverance Through Severe Dysfunction, as Ford defines it, underlines the darkness of mental health illnesses and behaviors that impact young Black men and have plagued Black Americans for generations.
But his reassessment is not doom and gloom. Instead, Ford implores that we turn pain into peace. His uplifting message shows that by realizing, accepting, and treating mental health with grace, kindness, and appreciation of the backgrounds of those needing support, we can reduce the significant impact of PTSD and other mental conditions on not just Black, but all people.
Ford uses his own traumatic experiences to inform his call to action. He takes his impoverished and scarred childhood and turns it into a life of promise and abundance. His memoir shines a light on the intergenerational impact of unaddressed mental health issues, showing how the power of a familial network can help or severely harm an individual’s battle with mental health illnesses. He writes searingly of the overwhelming odds and systemic racism that must be overcome by Black Americans in order to reach the heights he has scaled. Ford’s own heartbreaking story is yet an optimistic one, intended to show that mental health has a real and demonstrable effect on Black Americans, but that it can be overcome.
PTSD places one man’s experiences in the realm of the broad sociopolitical issues that affect so many Americans. Ford emphasizes that the trauma of society creates situations of mental health issues and behaviors that hold back so many. But he also believes there is room for hope, that his own experiences of overcoming so many hardships and difficulties offer a path for others to follow. Immense suffering, Ford believes, can lead to improbable success.
PRAISE FOR PTSD
“Reggie Ford has written a brilliant account of his personal journey from pain to peace. But more than just the fascinating story of one young man’s battles with the generational traumas associated with racism and poverty in America, PTSD is a primer on just how deeply embedded those traumas are in our society and the factors that perpetuate them. Reggie writes with equal honesty and introspection when recounting his family’s encounters with addiction, abuse, teen pregnancy, gun violence and homelessness as he does when exposing prejudice, tokenism, and white privilege. At one level, this is an important book about persevering through dysfunction. At another, it is a well-sourced call to understand and solve the larger mental health, criminal justice, educational, and wealth inequalities facing the country.”
— Andrew Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of STRONG INSIDE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
REGGIE D. FORD is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, mental health advocate, and social activist. A first-generation college graduate of Vanderbilt University, he runs RoseCrete Wealth Management and speaks to audiences about financial empowerment, overall wellness, and the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. Ford lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Katie and their Rottweiler, Rosie.
July 5, 2021
Nashville Public Library: Local Author Redefines PTSD with Elizabeth Roth
Minority Mental Health Month exists to bring attention to the fact that Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) experience higher rates of mental distress while also facing more barriers to receiving mental health care. As shared in a previous blog post, the cause of this injustice is systemic racism.
In his new memoir, local author Reggie Ford shares his story growing up as a Black man in Nashville, through the lens of mental health and social justice. Ford took time to sit down with us and discuss his book Perseverance Through Severe Dysfunction: Breaking the Curse of Intergenerational Trauma as a Black Man in America, which is available for check out at the library.
June 22, 2021
Virtual Event with Andrew Maraniss hosted by Parnassus Books
Reggie D. Ford discusses his book Perseverance Through Severe Dysfunction: Breaking the Curse of Intergenerational Trauma as a Black Man in America, in conversation with Andrew Maraniss, New York Times bestselling author of STRONG INSIDE: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South.
June 16, 2021
Leadership Lab Podcast with Dr. Patrick Leddin
Reggie discusses Perseverance Through Severe Dysfunction with Dr. Patrick Leddin. On this episode, Reggie talks about how to deal with challenges that arise during business and how to overcome them.