My next book is about the health consequences of being a Superwoman, a status given to Sojourner Truth. In sociology we are aware the Sojourner Syndrome produces health consequences of higher mortality and morbidity rates: specifically, higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, depression and cancer, than our Caucasian or Latina counterparts.
Like Sojourner Truth we have been the strength of the community and have continued to survive despite physical, emotional , and sexual abuse, racism and discrimination . Our resilience and perseverance has a price, however. While we have risen above the negative depictions of “Mammy “and “Aunt Jemima”, which were characterizations to keep us appearing inept, ignorant, and devoted to the white families, the positive attributes of determination, and strength of Superwoman are killing us.
African American women particularly have been thrust into this role due to the numbers of women who are single parents, the absence of African American men, or sometimes just because it is a role we are accustomed to fulfilling. We are the economic, spiritual, emotional, political, and cultural support for our children, our children’s children, our sister or brother’s children and our husband’s/boyfriend’s children, we didn’t know they had before marriage !
As one patient said to me “Black women will do anything for people they love but not for themselves; ‘some other time never comes’ “. My book follows this woman ( and 4 others ) on her journey to wellness using Homeopathic and Botanical medicine, Clinical Nutrition, and stress reduction techniques. Information about naturopathic medicine generally, and each of these treatment modalities are also part of the book.
Are you a Superwoman ? Look for a series of questions over the weeks to come that may make you aware of whether or not you are a Superwoman.
Be well. Have peace.
Andrea D Sullivan, PhD , ND