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These Books Written By Black Women Will Get Your Anxiety All The Way Together

The good news is there are plenty of ways to ease your anxiety out there. The key is find what works best for you.

Good Reads

Anxiety is dangerous territory. Or at least it can be. It's an imbalance; a facade that seems to point and laugh at all that we are made up of. And what's worse, it's easily triggered and has the power to alter your day, obliterate your mood, and tank your mental state. If you're like me, someone with frequent anxious periods, your coping mechanisms are necessary to identify. They likely include habitual calming practices, meditation, and more—all very known serene methods of disrupting mental disarray.

But sis, the good news is there are plenty of ways to ease your anxiety out there. The key is find what works best for you. For example, there's the EFT Tapping Method, which helps you balance out the energy in your body by tapping on different energy meridian and/or high-pressure points. You can slow down, take a moment, and control your breathing by inhaling and exhaling in accordance to this chart:

Meditation, of course, is also great practice for anxiety. So, throwing on Shelah Marie's Meditation Mixtape, which has the tools and coaching to successfully guiding your thoughts and tension back into their proper places, is sure to help calm your senses as well.

But for some of us, choosing to curl up with a good ole book and glass of wine is the way to find your whole self again. And we decided to help us all out by starting a good reference point.

Here's a list of books that will help get your anxiety all the way together:

*Some links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, xoNecole may earn a small commission.

'I Got This! 30 Day Tips For Black Women With Anxiety Or Depression' by Latoya Johnson-Foster

Amazon

Latoya Johnson-Foster, a Licensed Professional Counselor based in Chicago, specializes in anxiety, depression, and marital and premarital counseling. She takes us all on a journey through mental instability, to help black women identify their symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, whilst teaching coping mechanisms to begin managing their symptoms.

$15

'The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America' by Tamara Winfrey Harris

Amazon

"We have facets like diamonds, the trouble is the people who refuse to see us sparkling."

What better way to calm your mind than to be reminded how amazing you are? Tamara Winfrey Harris does just that as she dives head first into mental health, marriage, motherhood, beauty, and more, taking calculated shots at the stereotypes that collude black women. She disproves straight-up lies, and endearingly tells the truth about what it means to be a black woman.

This book is a hug and love letter to self--as well as all the women who look like you.

$15

'The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health' by Rheeda Walker, PhD

Amazon

Written by Rheeda Walker, PhD, this guide book has taken the world by storm. And as she states, we simply just cannot deny mental health plagues anymore.

The Unapologetic Guide to Black Mental Health explores Black mental health, the forces that have undermined mental health progress for African-Americans, and what needs to happen for African-Americans to heal psychological distress, find community, and undo years of stigma and marginalization in order to access effective mental health care, in today's world.

It's time to prioritize and take our mind state seriously, and this book is sure to do so without caring who gets mad.

$14

'I'm Telling the Truth, But I'm Lying' by Bassey Ikpi

Amazon

Deemed an instant New York Time's Best Seller, I'm Telling the Truth, but I'm Lying is the story of a Nigerian-American immigrant: a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—told through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Ikpi bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.

This book has stacked a laundry list of accolades, all while shining the light on black women and anxiety.

$11

'The Black Girl's Guide to Healing Emotional Wounds' by Nijima Smalls

Amazon

Nijiama Smalls is all too familiar with the suffering of black girls and shares her personal journey of uncovering the origin of Black girl trauma while also addressing the ongoing process of healing and recovery from wounds caused by past hurts.The beauty of this book is that it provides a prescription for healing in the form of a soul-cleansing process. Enter this journey so that you can be set free to live the life God has planned for you.

Because as she says, "Sis, it's time to heal and end the suffering."

$17

'All About Love' by bell hooks

Popsugar

In a world where we are exposed to so much hatefulness, All About Love is a revelation about what causes a polarized society and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering. Here is the truth about love, and inspiration to help us all instill care, compassion, and strength in our homes, schools, and workplaces.

MUCH needed.

$13

'Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel for Grown Ups' by Jayne Allen

Amazon

"I wrote 'Black Girls Must Die Exhausted' because, as a black woman, I wanted to see a recognizable version of myself reflected in accessible and relatable contemporary fiction. My goal was a story that could make us feel, make us laugh, make us think, and make us proud."

A fun and adventurous read, Black Girls Must Die Exhausted takes on a new, lighthearted approach to anxiety. Set in Los Angeles, Tabby Walker's journey entertains readers with an intimate view of the experience and effects of race, complicated romance, and contemporary womanhood.

Or basically, the shit we're all dealing with.

$14

'More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)' by Elaine Welteroth

Amazon

And what would a black girl's book list be without Elaine Welteroth's More Than Enough? One of the best books of 2019. Highly celebrated, and well-deserved.

Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss, and often the only black woman in the room, she's had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they're not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we're ultimately reminded that we're more than enough.

This book covers so much of who we are and what we deal with on a day-to-day basis. Welteroth brilliantly tells us her story, with a happy ending to finally put our nerves to bed.

Join our xoTribe, an exclusive community dedicated to YOU and your stories and all things xoNecole. Be a part of a growing community of women from all over the world who come together to uplift, inspire, and inform each other on all things related to the glow up.

Featured image via Amazon

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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