“Black women are more likely to suffer from chronic health problems that may be alleviated by self-care, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stress. One in four black women over the age of 55 has diabetes. We are more likely to die of heart disease than any other group in the United States. Black women have a rate of depression 50 percent higher than that of white women, but in 2003 the California Black Women’s Health Project found that only 7 percent of black women with symptoms of mental illness seek treatment. And, according to a 2009 National Institutes of Health manuscript, a 2008 study of African American women’s perspectives on depression found many ‘believed that an individual develops depression due to having a weak mind, poor health, a troubled spirit, and lack of self-love.’
I am not sure that the ‘strong black woman’ is dead. But she should be. And it is black women who must kill her. Others are far too invested in her survival. For black women, the most radical thing we can do is to throw off the shackles forged by the stereotype and regain our full and complex humanity—one that allows us to be capable, strong, and independent, but also to be carried and cared for ourselves. Allowing for physical and emotional vulnerability is not weakness; it is humanness. More, it is a revolutionary act in the face of a society eager to mold us into hard, unbreakable things.”
– Tamara Winfrey Harris, "Precious Mettle: The myth of the strong black woman"