Black Women's Yoga is a toolkit that provides resources for Black women's self-care, mental health, and wellness. Research, books, articles, memoirs, and organizations offer information to heal mind, body, and spirit. This resource includes yoga links, notes on #HistoricalWellness, and links to citations featured in the chapter, "From Worthless to Wellness: Self-Worth, Power, and Creative Survival and Sexual Assault Memoirs," Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability.

“Rosa Parks practicing yoga at an event.” 1973 March. Image courtesy of Library of Congress, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Visual Materials from the Rosa Parks Papers, [LC-DIG-ppmsca-58369]. Photo used with permission of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. 

FROM WORTHLESS TO Wellness: narratives OF HEALING 

Anxiety is African American women’s most common mental health issue and the World Health Organization reports gender disparities for depression and anxiety around the globe. Four decades of medical research has shown meditation significantly reduces anxiety. So, how do Black women meditate?

In my research and lectures on memoir and autobiography, I discuss  groundbreaking insight into the range of ways in which Black women address anxiety in four areas: personal stress, interpersonal stress, social stress, and political stress. Over 150 life stories reveal how Black women from diverse geographic, ethnic, and religious backgrounds have defined meditation as consciousness (mind), yoga (body), and prayer (spirit). Numerous public figures such as bell hooks, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Coretta Scott King, Queen Latifah, Audre Lorde, Miriam Makeba, Rita Marley, Toni Morrison, Rosa Parks, Alice Walker, and Venus and Serena Williams join dozens of writers who provide new understanding about wellness.

DR.  S.  Y.  EVANS

Meditation Memoirs



Database of Black Women's Autobiography