Black Women's Inner is a toolkit that provides resources for Black women's meditation and mental health. Links to research, books, journals, memoirs, and organizations help readers locate useful information to heal mind, body, and spirit. This resource provides 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.

Meditation Memoirs


Mapping Meditation 

Black women from around the African diaspora meditate. Click on the interactive Viewshare map to locate information about meditation narratives featured in Don't Worry 'Bout a Thing.

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 Black women's intellectual history 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 Ruby Dee, 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.

Database of Black Women's Autobiography


DR.  S.  Y.  EVANS