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Major Sections of the Book

Adinkra Symbols are from Ghana, West Africa and represent concepts or aphorisms that are used extensively in fabrics, logos, pottery, and/or architectural features. The symbols have a decorative function but also represent objects that encapsulate evocative messages conveying traditional wisdom, aspects of life, or the environment. There are many symbols with distinct meanings, often linked with proverbs. Selected Adinkra symbols have been chosen to support introduction of the various sections of the book to reflect close alignment with the chapter content elucidated; and for empowerment related to cultural nuances relative to experiences of African American/Black individuals, families, and communities across the diaspora.   

Part I:  Cultural Narratives about Black Womanhood

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This section delineates cultural realities illustrated within the experiences of many Black women. It offers a depiction of selected aspects of Black womanhood.  It includes four chapters--Black Motherhood: Deeply Rooted; Dispelling Negative Stereotypes and Images: Black Girl Magic, Black Girls Rock!; The Superwoman (Sojourner) Syndrome and Superwoman Schema; The Making of a Black American Quilt: Discussing the Threads of the Strong Black Woman Image Through Family Narratives and Media Storytelling; and one commentary entitled Nothing Can Break You Unless You Give it Permission to! This section aims to illuminate some of the core issues that are germane to understanding of Black womanist ideology.

Part II:  Toward an Optimal Health Agenda:
The Importance of Our Survival

This section discerns a canopy of information about significant health issues that impact Black women. It includes eight chapters--Black Women’s Health Study: an Epidemiologic Snapshot of Black Women’s Health; Cancer and Black Women: Screening Can Make a Difference; The Nexus of Chronic Stress, Autoimmune Disorders, and Black Women; U.S. Dietary Guidelines, Obesity, and Health Disparities Among African American Women; The Color Line of Infertility: Reproductive Disparities in Black Women; When Resilience Hits the Ceiling: The Burden of the Coronavirus Pandemic; Black Women and HIV: From Surviving to Thriving; Mindfulness Matters: Mental Health Risks and Protective Factors for Black Women; and one commentary entitled Abortion as a Reproductive Justice Issue for Black Families and Communities. Also, two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fact sheets concerning Maternal Health and Cancer are offered. It intends to explicate selected health topics of significance to Black women utilizing a health equity lens. It is recognized that a vast array of diseases/disorders/illnesses are not represented. Nevertheless, the selected health conditions provide a foundation for fostering a health agenda that may be rooted in particular challenges encountered by some Black women. 

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Part III: Journey to Wellness and Community Healing

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This section offers a compilation of topics to encourage well-being and growth among Black women in five chapters—On the Frontlines: Stressors of Black Women Caring for Children of Incarcerated Parents; Resilience, Recovery and Resistance: Black Women Overcoming Intersectional Complex Trauma; “I Feel Some Type of Way”: Experiences of Relationship Violence, Resilience, and Resistance among Urban Black Girls; Womanist Theological Bioethics: A Healing and Culturally Responsive Approach to Death and Dying in Black Communities; Blissful Balance: Spirituality, Healing, and Restoration; and one commentary entitled Organized Resistance is Necessary. This section seeks to illustrate selected relevant issues that are central to the plethora of ways to promote robust living, wellness, and healing within communities. 

Part IV:  Activism and Advocacy for Social Justice

This section illustrates the significance of disentangling significant concepts related to justice and empowerment for Black women in the United States. Five chapters--#Say Her Name: Honoring Black Women Victims of Violence; Black Women, Public Health, and Resilience:  Political Power;  Standing on the Shoulders of Those Before Us; Multimedia: Changing the Narrative; Anti-Racism Primer: Naming Racism: Moving to Action; and a dialogue of signifance entitled Sankofa: Looking Back to Move Forward are offered. This section gives a glimpse into the veracity of lived experiences for many Black women and gives approaches that may be used for integrity centered servant leadership.  It also highlights the need for collective action, because collective action propels us, informs us, inspires us, and protects us.

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