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Politics & Prose

October 22 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm EDT

Marita Golden (author of The Strong Black Woman) discusses her book with Dolen Perkins-Valdez.

Event Details:

Meet Black women who have learned though hard lessons the importance of self-care and how to break through the cultural and sometimes family resistance to seeking therapy and professional mental health care.

In The Strong Black Woman, hear the stories of African American women who:

Asked for help when they needed it

Built lives that offer healing every day

Learned to accept that healing

Marita Golden is the author of 17 works of fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of many awards including the Writers for Writers Award presented by Barnes & Noble and Poets and Writers, just to name a few. Co-founder and President Emeritus of the Zora Neale Hurston/ Richard Wright Foundation, Marita Golden is a veteran teacher of writing.

Golden will be in conversation with Dolen Perkins-Valdez, the New York Times bestselling author of Wench and Balm. Her forthcoming novel Take My Hand will be published by Berkley Books/Penguin Random House in April 2022. Dolen is the current Chair of the Board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and is Associate Professor in the Literature Department at American University in Washington, DC

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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