Black Women and Resilience

Power, Perseverance, and Public Health

Expected to ship: 2024-02-01

A critical examination of the health disparities and collective resilience of Black women in the United States.


Black Women and Resilience: Power, Perseverance, and Public Health brings together a wealth of qualitative and quantitative research to help foster broad understanding and advancement of Black women's collective health and wellbeing. Throughout, Kisha B. Holden and Camara Phyllis Jones and their contributors use a health equity lens, maintaining that achieving health equity requires valuing all individuals and populations equally, recognizing and rectifying historical injustices, and providing resources according to need. Across four sections, scholars, practitioners, and community leaders address cultural narratives of Black womanhood; significant health issues affecting Black women; trauma, stressors, and strategies for healing; and advocacy for social justice and collective action. Multivocal and multidisciplinary, Black Women and Resilience models and invites exchange across sectors and specializations while consistently centering the experiences and contributions of Black women as catalysts for transformation.

Kisha B. Holden is a Psychologist, Professor, Pouissaint-Satcher Endowed Chair in Mental Health, and Associate Director for Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine. She is the coauthor (with Henrie Treadwell and Clare Xanthos) of The Social Determinants of African-Americans and coeditor of African American Women: An Annotated Bibliography with her mentor Veronica Thomas. Camara Phyllis Jones is Past President of the American Public Health Association and is currently a Leverhulme Visiting Professor in Global Health and Social Medicine at King's College London.


"Black women are the wellspring of grace and excellence that defines our culture. We empower others to strive for optimal levels of health, pursue education, seek justice, and drive progress as thoughtful leaders. This book delineates diverse experiences of Black women while describing a nexus of contextualized wisdom that should not be overlooked." — Joycelyn Elders, 15th US Surgeon General

"Written by Black women for Black women, this volume focuses on the intersection between gender, race, class, sexuality, spirituality, health, and disability among African American females. It overviews key modern and historical contributions—research, activism, and policy development, as well as film, music, and the arts—to Black women's health, wellbeing, and resilience. The chapters' varied approaches and writing styles explore patterns of African American women's lived experiences and illness in engaging and insightful ways. This book should be read by all Black women and leaves a legacy of knowledge for future generations." — Jenny Douglas, coeditor of Public Health: Building Innovative Practice

"As we like to say at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute, many Black women have risen to positions of leadership because they cared enough, they knew enough, they had the courage to do enough, and they persevered until the job was done. To those Black women, we owe a sincere debt of gratitude." — David Satcher, Four-Star Admiral for the US Public Health Service, 16th US Surgeon General

"A remarkable journey that transports us from the consequential realities of health disparities to the optimism of seeking and finding healing health—collectively and individually. Black women who read this book will find themselves powerfully represented within. The beauty of this narrative is its potential to inspire, captivate and motivate all." — Joan Y. Reede, Professor and Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership, Harvard University

"Black Women and Resilience is a powerful exposé on the health and wellbeing of Black women by Black women scholars. It is a solid contribution to the field of women's health and important reading for all interested in understanding and improving the health status of Black women." — Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association

Black Women and Resilience provides a glimpse of the magnetic richness of Black women striving for ideal health. I applaud Drs. Holden and Jones for delineating an examination of complex systemic issues, demarcating some of the contributors to political determinants of health, and identifying approaches to help strengthen community health." — Daniel Dawes, Executive Director, Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine

"This exceptional book is a rich compilation of thought leadership that offers the reader intersectional angles about Black women in the pursuit of optimal health and wellness. It weaves together a tapestry of cultural experiences that engender resilience and addresses significant issues that are relevant to public health within diverse communities." — Beverly Daniel Tatum, President Emerita, Spelman College

"Praise is warranted for this amazing volume of narrative which chronicles the multifaceted intricacies of Black women's health. It is imperative that diverse leaders in our nation prioritize use of a life-span developmental approach to understanding aspects of women's health. Support of efforts for innovative interventions and prevention strategies are essential for improving population health." — Vivian Pinn, Senior Scientist Emerita, Fogarty International Center, Founder and Inaugural Director, Office of Research on Women's Health, National Institutes of Health