For generations, in response to systemic racism, Black women and African American culture created the persona of the Strong Black Woman, a woman who, motivated by service and sacrifice, handles, manages, and overcomes any problem, any obstacle. The syndrome calls on Black women to be the problem-solvers and chief caretakers for everyone in their lives. Never buckling, never feeling vulnerable, and never bothering with their pain.
Join the Institute for Policy Studies as we host Marita Golden in conversation with IPS Director Tope Folarin, about her new book “The Strong Black Woman: How a Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women”. Also joining the discussion is special guest Dr. Seanna Leath, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia in the Psychology Department who runs the FHIRE Lab. She uses education and psychology to understand the holistic development of Black girls and women within their families, schools, and communities. Specifically, her work focuses on how individual factors (e.g., race and gender identity beliefs) and contextual factors (e.g., friendship groups and community support) promote wellbeing.
Golden’s book elucidates how being a Black woman in America is to know that you cannot protect your children or guarantee their safety, that your value is consistently questioned, and that even being “twice as good” is often not good enough. Consequently, Black women disproportionately experience anxiety and depression. Studies now conclusively connect racism and mental health―and physical health.
Marita Golden is the author of 19 works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novels The Wide Circumference of Love, and A Woman’s Place and the memoirs Saving Our Sons Raising Black Children in a Turbulent World and Don’t Play in the Sun One Woman’s Journey Through the Color Complex. She is co-founder and President Emerita of the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.
Please register to participate directly in the zoom forum. This event will also be live streamed on the IPS Facebook page. Purchase the book online in advance to enhance the book talk experience.