Black women are strong. At least that's what everyone says and how they are constantly depicted. But what, exactly, does this strength entail? And what price do Black women pay for it? In this book, the author, a psychologist and pastoral theologian, examines the burdensome yoke that the ideology of the Strong Black Woman places upon African American women. She demonstrates how the three core features of the ideology emotional strength, caregiving, and independence constrain the lives of African American women and predispose them to physical and emotional health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and anxiety. She traces the historical, social, and theological influences that resulted in the evolution and maintenance of the Strong Black Woman, including the Christian church, R & B and hip-hop artists, and popular television and film. Drawing upon womanist pastoral theology and twelve-step philosophy, she calls upon pastoral caregivers to aid in the healing of African American women's identities and crafts a twelve-step program for Strong Black Women in recovery.
black & white illustrations
black & white illustrations
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the best book I've read on black female identity and spirituality. I've read many books on "strong women" but none of them have understood or described the black female psyche as well as Walker-Barnes does.
The author deftly integrates history, theology, psychology and health sciences to help black women (and the people who care about them) understand why so many black women cling to the unhealthy and oppressive identity of the "StrongBlackWoman" -- an identity that is excessively independent, caregiving and emotionally strong. At first glance, this identity might seem liberating and empowering, but Walker-Barnes expertly dismantles that notion and shows that true freedom lies in interdependence and emotional authenticity.
As a recovering StrongBlackWoman, this book has helped me see how my black feminine identity has been greatly impacted by hegemonic societal forces, and has helped me take off the StrongBlackWoman mask and live...
Chanequa Walker Barnes writes an excellent book for a broad audience, yet most will initially consider it a niche book for Black Women. It is a book to read regardless of gender or race. Walker-Barnes’ work is theological, sociological, and practical, which as her book will show are three things never meant to be separated. She provides a 12-step roadmap for StrongBlackWomen to walk toward lifelong healing; each chapter provides pastoral care givers a set of reflective questions to discover how they engage the SBW stereotype consciously and unconsciously. Too Heavy a Yoke will help readers discover God’s liberating power for StrongBlackWomen and God’s liberating power that comes as we undo stereotypes.
Walker-Barnes’ work is important for church leaders in this day. She highlights at the macro level the power that stereotypes hold, and how stereotypes affect both those who propagate them (dominant culture people) and those who live within them. She...
Walker-Barnes uses theology, history and personal stories to create a mirror to the soul of Black women who struggle with tendencies of over-responsibility, care-taking, and over extending oneself. The 12 step approach provides suggestions to the path to freedom. Highly recommended.
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