Copyright 2007-2017 © Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans. All rights reserved.
I research Black women's intellectual history. Specifically, I examine healing traditions in Africana memoirs to study how authors write about mental health and wellness. My work identifies themes that Black feminists/womanists call creative survival: health, education, music, and spirituality. Memoirists such as Anna Julia Cooper (age 105) and Marian Anderson (96) model longevity. Their narratives reveal legacies of Black women who preserved mind, body, and spirit to empower themselves and others. In the tradition of Mary McLeod Bethune, teaching these stories is empowerment education: to investigate, interpret, and inspire.
Black women's memoirs are survival guides. Black women writers can be mentors as models of self-determination for social justice. Elders posit that, despite worldly challenges, inner peace is possible and strategies like music, meditation, and mentoring are key. My study of Black women's inner peace stems from traditions like Dr. Cooper's progressive peace, Sonia Sanchez's peace haiku, and Byllye Avery's self-healing. By researching self-love, self-respect, and self-care, I provide consciousness-raising resources. My research addresses problems of chronic stress, anxiety, and depression stemming from violence that disproportionately impacts Black women. In essence, my work is a meditation on sustainable struggle. A luta continua.
2017 Honoree, CAU Delores Aldridge-Eldridge McMillan Award for Excellence in Research
Black women’s self-care:
Meditate for chronic stress
BREATHE peace in your heart
Black women’s joy. Songs
To empower survivors
Black women’s ideas
Can help solve global problems
At least, they solved mine