Do You Write Outside of the Box?

Marita Golden (author of The Strong Black Woman) writes to be heard and open the multiple of doorways that leads to her truth.

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I write to be heard. I write also so that the African American experience can become part of the public space and the public imagination. For me, often the best way to do that is to write outside the box. One of the most important decisions a writer makes is the structure, the architecture that will both hold and express their story. Perhaps my belief that there are multiple doorways into the truth, that my pain may be your pleasure, and that group intelligence is far superior to the intelligence of a single person leads me to write again and again in the “communal memoir” format. That is how I wrote The Strong Black Woman How A Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women.


The Strong Black Woman

How a Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women

“Black don’t crack”. The Strong Black Woman Syndrome is a racist and sexist archetype created to marginalize Black women. It is a toxic ideology that is a major factor contributing to the dismal health metrics for Black women, showing that four out of five are overweight and are more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack than White women. The syndrome calls on Black women to be the problem-solvers and chief caretakers for everyone in their lives. “Black don’t crack” is a familiar adage. We never buckle, never feel vulnerable, and never bother others with our pain.

Black women face a hidden mental health crisis of anxiety and depression. To be 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.

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