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The Strong Black Woman: How a Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women (African American Studies)

The Strong Black Woman: How a Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women (African American Studies)

by Marita Golden, ,

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Major Health Crisis Among Black Women Generated from Systemic Racism  

“Marita Golden’s The Strong Black Woman busts the myth that Black women are fierce and resilient by letting the reader in under the mask that proclaims ‘Black don’t crack.’” ―Karen Arrington, coach, mentor, philanthropist, and author of NAACP Image Award-winning Your Next Level Life

Sarton Women’s Book Award
#1 New Release in Reference

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

The Strong Black Woman Syndrome. For generations, in response to systemic racism, Black women and African American culture created the persona of the Strong Black Woman, a woman who, motivated by service and sacrifice, handles, manages, and overcomes any problem, any obstacle.  The syndrome calls on Black women to be the problem-solvers and chief caretakers for everyone in their lives―never buckling, never feeling vulnerable, and never bothering with their pain.

Hidden mental health crisis of anxiety and depression. To be a Black woman in America is to know you cannot protect your children or guarantee their safety, your value is consistently questioned, and 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.

Take care of your emotional health. You deserve to be emotionally healthy for yourself and those you love. More and more young Black women are re-examining the Strong Black Woman syndrome and engaging in self-care practices that change their lives.

Hear stories of Black women who:

  • Asked for help
  • Built lives that offer healing
  • Learned to accept healing


If you have read The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental HealthThe Racial Healing Handbook, or Black FatigueThe Strong Black Woman is your next read. 

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  • Marita Golden

    Marita Golden is an award-winning author of over 20 works of fiction and nonfiction, a master teacher of writing, coach, mentor, and a literary and creative writing consultant. As a literary activist, she co-founded the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation.

    Marita works with writers to help them skillfully and powerfully tell their story. In her workshops, her coaching, and manuscript evaluation she enables writers to write in their most authentic, creative, and personal literary voice. She has worked with many published writers. Among the acclaimed writers she has worked with are novelists Nicole Dennis Benn, Tope Folarin, Sadeqa Johnson as well as memoirist Karen Gray Houston.


    • The Oprah Winfrey Show

    • C-SPAN

    • Tuesday's with Maria Shriver

    • Roland Martin Unfiltered

    • Jeopardy! [Question: Novelist Marita Golden Paid Homage To This Woman In An Essay Called Zora & Me]

    Her books include ...


    • Migrations of the Heart

    • Saving Our Sons Raising Black Children in a Turbulent World

    • Don't Play in the Sun One Woman's Journey Through the Color Complex


    • The Strong Black Woman How a Myth Endangers the Physical and Mental Health of Black Women


    • After

    • Long Distance Life

    • The Wide Circumference of Love

    • The Edge of Heaven


    • Johns Hopkins University

    • The University of the District of Columbia

    • George Mason University

    • Virginia Commonwealth University

    • The University of Tel Aviv

    I have lectured at many schools including:

    • Norfolk State University

    • University of Nevada at Las Vegas

    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    • Yale University


    • NAACP Image Award nominations for AFTER and The Wide Circumference of Love

    • Distinguished Service Award (Authors Guild)

    • Distinguished Service Award (African American Writers Guild)

    • Washington Dateline Award for Local Journalism

    • Barnes and Noble Writers for Writers Award (Poets and Writers)

    • International Literary Hall of Fame of Writers of African Descent Inductee (Gwendolyn Brooks Center at Chicago State University)

    • Maryland Author Award (Association of Maryland Librarians)

    • Award for Fiction (Black Caucus of the American Library Association)

    • Excellence in Leadership “Strong Woman” Award (Dominion Power)

    • Distinguished Alumni Award (American University)

    • Woman of the Year Award (Zeta Phi Beta Sorority)

    • Honorary Doctor of Arts and Letters (University of Richmond)

    • “Virginia Hero” Award

    • Sarton/Gilda Award for Nonfiction

    • Distinguished Black Women Award (Black Women in Sisterhood for Action, Inc.)

    • Faculty of the Year (Phi Delta Kappa University of the District of Columbia)

    • Included in Columbia Heights Heritage Trail in Washington, D.C.

    Are you ready to write? Visit my website at to register for my creative writing workshops!