4 Black Women Reveal Self-Care Strategies That Work For Them

By Stephanie Barnes
April 12, 2022

In 1988, Audre Lorde, the late civil and feminist rights activist and writer, declared the act of self-care for Black women to be a radical thing, a political thing. Lorde’s declaration came in “A Burst of Light,” a collection of essays that offered a peek into her struggle with cancer, years of emotional turmoil, and life in an oppressive world where Black women are often overlooked and diminished by a system that was built on their backs yet ultimately stands against them.

If self-care is the practice of protecting one's own well‑being and happiness, particularly during periods of stress, then during these days of pandemic and outrage and protest, it has never been more important to engage in acts that replenish and uplift. But where do Black women turn when the most basic feel-good activities—taking a nap, relaxing with their kids at a hotel pool, sitting on a park bench, or going on a train trip through Napa with girlfriends—has led to being treated with suspicion, at best, or, at worst, being subjected to police investigation and detention?

We asked four Black women, all experts in uplifting and empowering women, how they’re practicing self-care in the current socio-political climate. Here, they share what has worked for them—and what you can add to your own care routines.

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