In and Out of Our Right Minds: The Mental Health of African American Women

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African American women have commonly been portrayed as “pillars” of their communities―resilient mothers, sisters, wives, and grandmothers who remain steadfast in the face of all adversities. While these portrayals imply that African American women have few psychological problems, the scientific literature and demographic data present a different picture. They reveal that African American women are at increased risk for psychological distress because of factors that disproportionately affect them, including lower incomes, greater poverty and unemployment, unmarried motherhood, racism, and poor physical health. Yet at the same time, rates of mental illness are low. This invaluable book is the first comprehensive examination of the contradictions between the strengths and vulnerabilities of this population. Using the contexts of race, gender, and social class, In and Out of Our Right Minds challenges the traditional notions of mental health and mental illness as they apply to African American women.

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