Updated: Jun 20, 2018
4 reasons why Black women can transform society through mental wellness.
Back in my college years in Introduction to Women’s Studies at Spelman College, I grew in knowledge about the multiple layers of oppression that Black women experience. Black feminist and womanist trailblazers like Audre Lorde, Beverly Guy Sheftall, Alice Walker, the Combahee River Collective and so many more understood how the freedom of all humanity can not happen without the liberation of Black women. We have often heard these statements in activist and academic circles. I believe that it also translates to mental wellness. Black women being mentally-well is one of the strongest efforts of resistance in a society where our mental health and wellness is constantly under attack. I believe that once Black women can sustain themselves mentally, they will have the power to reach new heights and transform the Black community.
Here are 4 reasons why Black women are central to the mental wellness revolution:
Educate a woman. You educate a village.
Black women are central to the education of our families and communities. Many Black women are caretakers, teachers, domestic workers, and are overall the backbone of society. If Black women are informed about mental wellness, they can spread that lifestyle with their children, partners, and in any space they enter. In turn, our children and communities will be able to thrive.
2. Advocates for change.
Black women have been at the forefront of every social movement for Black freedom. Black women know how to raise their voices and demand justice; even when we are told to remain silent. When Black women see someone suffering from mental illness, they can advocate for better conditions and resources for those in need.
Despite of negative media portrayals, Black women know how to support and hold a ‘sista’ down. Many Black women would not be where they are today if it were not for the support of another Black woman. Sisterhood is central to supporting one another when we encounter setbacks with maintaining mental wellness and when we triumph over obstacles.
Black women know how to harness their collective wisdom, knowledge, and skills to build power. We know how to bring people together and ‘set it off’ when our communities are being harmed. Together, Black women have the power to keep mental wellness central so we can live out our dreams.
The Mental Wellness Revolution is here. Never has there been a more opportune time for Black women to lead in keeping ourselves and our community mentally- well. Join Sista Afya in charting a new path towards freedom.