Black women have done a great deal of learning about strength and what it means to be a strong Black woman. Our strength has taken us far. Black women are the most educated group in the United States and start businesses at higher rates. We outpace other groups when earning degrees and by in large just get shit done! Our strength is what propels us to higher heights and helps us to make great strides despite adversity. If you're still sleeping on Black women, please wake up!
The messages we receive about being a strong black woman come from our early caregivers and are reinforced by other institutions: peers, media, religious institutions, romantic relationships, etc. Y'all know the messaging:
Be the boss
Do the emotional labor
Carry the heavy load
Nurture those around you
Get it done at any cost
Because of all we achieve, our strength becomes a badge of honor and a functional part of our lives for survival. But at what cost? At what point does the way we think about and live out strength get us in trouble? I'm excited to be joined with Dr. Akilah Reynolds, Licensed Psychologist, and co-founder of the Strong Black Woman (SBW) Wellness Collaborative on Wednesday, August 12th at 6:00pm PST via IG and Facebook Live to discuss.
Dr. Akilah is a psychologist in Los Angeles where she works at an academic medical center and in private practice at the Black Girl Doctor. She specializes in child psychology, parenting, and working with professional women. Dr. Akilah is the co-founder of the SBW Wellness Collaborative, an organization that researches and provides education on the strong Black woman schema. Dr. Akilah believes psychology has the power to transform lives. To that end, she is passionate about empowering people to live the life of their dreams by encouraging mental health and wellness.
Dr. Akilah and I will pause to explore some of the stories we tell ourselves about strength. She'll share her personal reflections about her journey getting into this work and how it impacts her emotionally. We are all in for a treat as Dr. Akilah takes us deeper into dialogue about the aspects of the SBW that need to be unlearned. Namely, what strong black women feel but not say: we must be independent, have emotional fortitude without emoting, emotionally silence ourselves, and engage in caretaking at the expense of our own self and need. She and I will sit with the challenging reality that engaging strength in this way will have negative outcomes that include emotional eating, depression, negative impact on relationships, and emotional health implications.
These negative outcomes are what inspired the SBW campaign to redefine strength. You can get connected to that amazing work here: (https://instagram.com/sbw.selfcare?igshid=e9pl4k7t488n)
Finally, we'll explore our process by engaging the strong black woman scheme, unlearning, and redefining it in a way that fits. Join us. Pause and identify what you need to unlearn about strength.