The book covers a wide range of concerns, including obesity, substance abuse, sex trafficking, gangs, teen pregnancy, and suicide attempts. Stress, low self-esteem, anger, aggression, and violence are explored, as are failures of our education system and of a legal system that tends to victimize young black women. A substantial section on parenting and mentoring discusses ways to counter the negative influences that are a constant for many black girls and adolescents. It is time for American society to recognize and react to the realities these young women face, making this book a must-read for caring parents, teachers, nurses, guidance counselor, doctors, school administrators, and school board members.
Catherine Fisher Collins, DEd, RN, NP, is associate professor at the State University of New York, Empire State College.
Written from an afrocentric point of view, Collins's volume investigates sources of stress in the home and workplace. She reviews historical events that planted roots of stress for African American women, including slavery, racism, and the economic and social pressures currently facing African American men. Collins also understands the subtle, everyday stressors that are not typically heralded in history or medical books: standing for minutes at a department store counter, or waiting for help, only to be bypassed by a clerk aiming to wait on a white person who has just arrived. This book offers methods of stress reduction from a popular walking program to biofeedback, meditation, massage, yoga, and breathing exercises. Also highlighted are foods that contribute to stress and herbs that may help eliminate it.