Black Women and the Burden of Strength | The Chanequa Walker-Barnes Interview
In this interview, Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes tells us about her book, the ideology and sources of the Strong Black Woman, her experience with cancer, and more.
About Chanequa’s book, Too Heavy a Yoke – Black Women and the Burden of Strength (bit.ly/1Oi1nPY):
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.
Chanequa Walker-Barnes is a theologian and psychologist whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for healing, justice, and reconciliation in the Christian church and beyond. She is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling in the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.
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