A strong Black woman is a cultural icon. But when Black women cling to that image rather than acknowledging and addressing the stress and trauma so many have experienced, they may experience mental and physical problems, says Northwestern Medicine clinical psychologist Inger Burnett-Zeigler.
Burnett-Zeigler wants to help them confront their pain and suffering, and learn tools for coping through her new book, "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen: The Emotional Lives of Black Women (Amistad, June 29, 2021.)
"An estimated eight out of 10 Black women have experienced some form of trauma. Burnett-Zeigler describes the different types of trauma Black women often endure—intergenerational trauma, childhood trauma, abusive relationships, pregnancy trauma—through her own personal stories and the stories of family members and clients.
Rather than maintaining the cultural expectation of being strong, which can lead to anxiety, depression, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and more, Burnett-Zeigler offers Black women a new framework in which to understand how their life experiences have impacted them. Then she shows them how to adopt practices for body and mind health.
Inger Burnett-Zeigler is an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. She has two decades of clinical experience helping people with stress, traum