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Mental WELLNESS

Nina Westbrook Is Urging Black Women to Put Their Mental Health First

BE WELL

June 8, 2020 | POPSUGAR FITNESS By Tamara Pridgett

“The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman,” Malcolm X proclaimed in 1962. It’s been 58 years since he gave this powerful speech, and his words still ring true.

Due to racial bias in the healthcare system, Black women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the workplace, Black women don’t fare much better, earning $0.61 cents for every dollar a non-Hispanic, white man makes, according to the National Women’s Law Center. These are just a few of the racial injustices Black women are subjected to on a daily basis. And as taxing as daily encounters with race and gender discrimination can be to one’s mental and physical health, Black women continue to fight for the respect, representation, recognition, and equality our white counterparts are granted due to bias and privilege.

“I think that Black women and women of color are some of the most undervalued groups of people in the US,” Nina Westbrook, MA, LMFT, told POPSUGAR. “We want to present ourselves as strong women. We want to be there for our families. We want to wear all the hats. We want to be successful. We want to put on a brave face,” she said. But the Strong Black Woman archetype we’re all too familiar with is detrimental to our well-being.

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