Meditation and Mental Health in Black Women's Memoirs
Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability
SUNY Press, 2017
Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability creates a framework to positively impact Black women’s wellness. Editors Stephanie Evans, Kanika Bell, and Nsenga Burton build a framework based on the expressed need for the concept of balance in mental health assessment and practice. Their “BREATHE” model values characteristics of both strength and vulnerability.
Dr. Evans, a professor of Black women’s intellectual history, Dr. Bell, a psychology professor and psychologist, and Dr. Burton, a media scholar, team up to survey historical and contemporary Black women’s narratives of health and freedom. They present a chorus of voices that exchange perspectives on race, gender, and wellness. This collaborative project brings together wellness workers who build on a longstanding history of creative approaches to improving Black women’s health. The dialogical approach sets a stage for traversing across bridges that unite academic disciplines and actively engage community agencies. For more information, visit www.bwmentalhealth.net
Chronicles of the Equator Woman: The Recipe for Justice Soup (SHORT STORY, 2013)
Equator Woman is the autobiography of a time-traveling Black woman who saves planet Earth. The author, Axis Heart, provides a provocative glimpse into how the past impacts the future. Her reflections on adventure, soup, and self-defense reveal complex identities of females born in the African diaspora. This scribe chronicles life as an “Equator Woman”—a Black woman from Africa, India, Australia, Brazil, the United States, and beyond—to KeplerPrime, a human-inhabited planet in the Lyra constellation. The story begins in 10th-century BCE Ethiopia, from where readers follow Axis to several continents during six flavorful lives.
As a United Nations GalaState mediator, Axis finds herself pitted against violent forces that perpetuate fear and ignorance in order to control social and natural resources. In an epic struggle to bring balance to the home planet, she joins a group of creative activists to fight humanots and to tip the scales in a faceoff against the relentless Captain G. By challenging readers to “follow your heart” in order to solve human problems, these travel memoirs pose important questions about attitudes, behaviors, and choices we embody. This is the tale of an ancient “sassy” Black girl who learns to negotiate power through trade, technology, and law. Seasoned with experience, her soulful recipe for community building is clearly embedded in the text. As publisher of this narrative about a 3,500-year quest for justice, Dr. Stephanie Evans presents a timeless story to nourish booklovers and activists far and wide.
Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954: An Intellectual History(UF Press, 2007)
Evans chronicles the stories of African American women who struggled for and won access to formal education, beginning in 1850, when Lucy Stanton, a student at Oberlin College, earned the first college diploma conferred on an African American woman. In the century between the Civil War and the civil rights movement, a critical increase in black women's educational attainment mirrored unprecedented national growth in American education. Evans reveals how black women demanded space as students and asserted their voices as educators--despite such barriers as violence, discrimination, and oppressive campus policies--contributing in significant ways to higher education in the United States. She argues that their experiences, ideas, and practices can inspire contemporary educators to create an intellectual democracy in which all people have a voice.
Anna Julia Cooper: Human Rights Educator
Rowman & Littlefield, Expected 2017
African Americans and Community Engagement in Higher Education (SUNY, 2010)
Looks at town-gown relationships with a focus on African Americans.
This book discusses race and its roles in university-community partnerships. The contributors take a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and multiregional approach that allows students, agency staff, community constituents, faculty, and campus administrators an opportunity to reflect on and redefine what impact African American identity—in the academy and in the community—has on various forms of community engagement. From historic concepts of “race uplift” to contemporary debates about racialized perceptions of need, they argue that African American identity plays a significant role. In representing best practices, recommendations, personal insight, and informed warnings about building sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships, the contributors provide a cogent platform from which to encourage the difficult and much-needed inclusion of race in dialogues of national service and community engagement.
Black Passports: Travel Memoirs as a Tool for Youth Empowerment (SUNY, 2014)
A resource guide that uses African American memoir to address a variety of issues related to mentoring and curriculum development. In this resource guide for fostering youth empowerment, Stephanie Y. Evans offers creative commentary on two hundred autobiographies that contain African American travel memoirs of places around the world. The narratives are by such well-known figures as Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Billie Holiday, Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor, Angela Davis, Condoleezza Rice, and President Barack Obama, as well as by many lesser-known travelers.
The book serves as a tool for “literary mentoring,” where students of all ages can gain knowledge and wisdom from texts in the same way achieved by one-on-one mentoring, and it also provides ideas for incorporating these memoirs into lessons on history, geography, vocabulary, and writing. Focusing on four main mentoring themes—life, school, work, and cultural exchange—Evans encourages readers to comb the texts for models of how to manage attitudes, behaviors, and choices in order to be successful in transnational settings.
“This book provides a new and refreshing way to think about Black youth and issues of empowerment. It will be a useful tool for teachers, parents, scholars, and community organizers, leaders, and activists.” — Valerie Grim, Indiana University Bloomington
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Prologue: “Wisdom Is the Best of All Treasures”: Adolescent Development and the ABCs of Power
1. Introduction: Literary Mentoring
6. Conclusion: Writing Your Own Freedom Papers
Epilogue: Regeneration, A Song for Strong Bones