Rowana, a beautiful writer and mental health advocate is the author of Spoken Black Girl, a blog about empowering Black womanhood and mental health. Rowana was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Queens, NY, and shares about connecting with her Caribbean roots and what her experience as a Caribbean-American has been like. Also, she shares about how Spoken Black Girl was sparked from her own experience with anxiety and depression and from reading her favorite book, "Americanah" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
In this interview, Rowana, talks about the stigma of mental health, particularly in the Black community and how the stigma is tied to a history of slavery and the instinct to survive overriding everything else, including the need to take care of oneself. In relation to this history and stigma, Rowana raises important points about how access to mental healthcare services is a big barrier that Black communities face, and this is part of how systemic racism operates. But, one of the ways to undo the stigma of mental health is to speak openly about mental health and one's experience, as Rowana strongly encourages. Racism takes a toll on one's mental health, which is why selfcare is important.
In addition, Rowana confronts the message and stereotype that Black women need to be "strong" ALL THE TIME. She discusses the long history of the racist perception of Black women being unable to feel and endure pain. This historical dehumanization takes a toll on Black women's health, but Rowana gives her suggestions for ways Black women can take care of their mental health.
Lastly, Rowana talks about the exciting novel that she's writing. To find out more, press play above or listen on iTunes!
Where To Find Rowana