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Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit

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This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people--and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects. Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people--and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects. Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to experience inequities and even atrocities, day after day, when justice is a God-given and legislated right. And it is exhausting to have to constantly explain this to white people, even--and especially--well-meaning white people, who fall prey to white fragility and too often are unwittingly complicit in upholding the very systems they say they want dismantled. This book, designed to illuminate the myriad dire consequences of living while Black, came at the urging of Winters's Black friends and colleagues. Winters describes how in every aspect of life--from economics to education, work, criminal justice, and, very importantly, health outcomes--for the most part, the trajectory for Black people is not improving. It is paradoxical that, with all the attention focused over the last fifty years on social justice and diversity and inclusion, little progress has been made in actualizing the vision of an equitable society. Black people are quite literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. Winters writes that my hope for this book is that it will provide a comprehensive summary of the consequences of Black fatigue, and awaken activism in those who care about equity and justice--those who care that intergenerational fatigue is tearing at the very core of a whole race of people who are simply asking for what they deserve. Reading group discussion guide available.


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This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people--and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects. Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people--and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects. Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to experience inequities and even atrocities, day after day, when justice is a God-given and legislated right. And it is exhausting to have to constantly explain this to white people, even--and especially--well-meaning white people, who fall prey to white fragility and too often are unwittingly complicit in upholding the very systems they say they want dismantled. This book, designed to illuminate the myriad dire consequences of living while Black, came at the urging of Winters's Black friends and colleagues. Winters describes how in every aspect of life--from economics to education, work, criminal justice, and, very importantly, health outcomes--for the most part, the trajectory for Black people is not improving. It is paradoxical that, with all the attention focused over the last fifty years on social justice and diversity and inclusion, little progress has been made in actualizing the vision of an equitable society. Black people are quite literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. Winters writes that my hope for this book is that it will provide a comprehensive summary of the consequences of Black fatigue, and awaken activism in those who care about equity and justice--those who care that intergenerational fatigue is tearing at the very core of a whole race of people who are simply asking for what they deserve. Reading group discussion guide available.

30 review for Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Quick thoughts: The first book of its kind published on the research behind this topic, Black Fatigue is an illuminating and critically important read. I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader Quick thoughts: The first book of its kind published on the research behind this topic, Black Fatigue is an illuminating and critically important read. I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jess Owens

    I think this is written more for a non-Black audience. It really shows how exhausting or “fatiguing” it is to be Black in America and what non- Black people, white and other POC need to do in order to dismantle systematic racism and be true allies. Still a good read. I did learn a few things and it was interesting hearing her experience working in diversity in corporate America and then starting her own company.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joana Gimeno

    "Stop using discomfort as an excuse for not having meaningful conversations about race" I found the book extremely useful. Showing how black people is sick of being tired of living the same injustices over and over again. It explained the roots of the problem and the continuation and perpetuation of racism that allows for generations after generations of black people to continue to feel oppressed, influencing major social and health crisis, both physical(from quality of live/housing) and mental(t "Stop using discomfort as an excuse for not having meaningful conversations about race" I found the book extremely useful. Showing how black people is sick of being tired of living the same injustices over and over again. It explained the roots of the problem and the continuation and perpetuation of racism that allows for generations after generations of black people to continue to feel oppressed, influencing major social and health crisis, both physical(from quality of live/housing) and mental(trauma/stress). The author explained different terms as Equality vs Equity. Equality being giving everyone the same and expecting them to reach the same point Vs Equity being acknowledging that everyone has different starting points therefore we should provide different facilities so everyone has a chance. Black Fatigue focuses on solutions and lists steps to take towards change as well as reimagning a just, equal world that includes apologies, reparation, changes of legislation, representation, equal liberty and justice for all. "White people would universally understand that the Black Lives Matter movement wouldn't be necessary if all lives really mattered"

  4. 5 out of 5

    A. Breeze Harper

    Palatable Intro to Black Racial Fatigue for NonBlack People I think this was, overall, a good intro about Black Racial Fatigue for NonBlack (Mostly white) people. No high theory language and concrete examples. I appreciated Winters adding the “justice” aspect to DEI. She explains why it “Fails” to persuade organizations to “do diversity” solely based on profit margins and why justice and equity should be the end goal. I think what would have been more poignant in the book is to really interrogate Palatable Intro to Black Racial Fatigue for NonBlack People I think this was, overall, a good intro about Black Racial Fatigue for NonBlack (Mostly white) people. No high theory language and concrete examples. I appreciated Winters adding the “justice” aspect to DEI. She explains why it “Fails” to persuade organizations to “do diversity” solely based on profit margins and why justice and equity should be the end goal. I think what would have been more poignant in the book is to really interrogate capitalism’s role in all of this and if DEIJ is actually compatible with organizations who frame everything through, and want to invest in, neoliberal capitalism (or any type of capitalism, for the most part). She writes of “Decolonization”, which is a great term to introduce as well as “justice”, when thinking of DEI, however, I’d argue that decolonization and capitalism are not compatible, so it’s hard for me to imagine any white dominated organization, ensconced in capitalism (which is just about every Fortune 500 business in the USA) would ever actually commit to both decolonization and justice since it would probably mean having to be anti-capitalist.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jai

    This book encompassed how I've felt for the last few years and as of a few months ago I've checked out emotionally regarding a few things. Mainly because I knew I was tired. I was sick and tired of being tired. I don't have the spoons to deal with non BIPOC people and their b.s. I don't answer questions about race, I don't smile and I don't pretend like I care. The white gaze is not something I worry about anymore. I worry about my two sons coming back home from work. I worry about my nephews an This book encompassed how I've felt for the last few years and as of a few months ago I've checked out emotionally regarding a few things. Mainly because I knew I was tired. I was sick and tired of being tired. I don't have the spoons to deal with non BIPOC people and their b.s. I don't answer questions about race, I don't smile and I don't pretend like I care. The white gaze is not something I worry about anymore. I worry about my two sons coming back home from work. I worry about my nephews and I worry about all the men I love. Black Fatigue was written for white people. Maybe they will pay attention and make changes to be an anti racist but I doubt it. I'm jaded and the systems that were discussed in the book have roots so deep in America and the rest of the Western World it will take a miracle to uproot them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)

    “Then is now.”⁣ ⁣ Do you know about Black fatigue? It’s the stress of living while Black. Racism is physically and psychologically making Black people sick.⁣ ⁣ Centuries of willful disregard for Black lives is taking a toll, and Black fatigue is becoming a public health emergency.⁣ ⁣ “White people just think it’s normal to be in control of everything and to be experts on racism, even while admitting they don’t know much about it.”⁣ ⁣ Through personal experiences and stories, along with historical facts “Then is now.”⁣ ⁣ Do you know about Black fatigue? It’s the stress of living while Black. Racism is physically and psychologically making Black people sick.⁣ ⁣ Centuries of willful disregard for Black lives is taking a toll, and Black fatigue is becoming a public health emergency.⁣ ⁣ “White people just think it’s normal to be in control of everything and to be experts on racism, even while admitting they don’t know much about it.”⁣ ⁣ Through personal experiences and stories, along with historical facts and figures, it is staggering how little has changed over decades, and Mary-Frances Winters puts together an eye-opening summary of the consequences. Things that Black people face day in and day out: from healthcare, to the workplace, to education and voter suppression — they all bear inequities and disparities that affect every aspect of their daily lives.⁣ ⁣ This book stresses that we as white people must be motivated to educate ourselves and stop relying on Black people to do it for us. It is our responsibly. We must acknowledge our privilege and recognize that this fatigue is real, and that actions must be taken to help dismantle the systems that cause it. Discomfort has to stop being an excuse.⁣ ⁣ This book is timely. It is important. It is for everyone.⁣

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 4.5 STARS Black Fatigue is a book that I really think everyone should read - People of colour, whites, Americans and world wide. Fannie Lou Hamer in 1964 stated, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired", and after you read this book, you really understand that quote so well. Blacks should not always have to teach others about racism and the challenges they face being Black. Mary-Frances Winters does a great job in explaining Black Fatigue and constructing this book. I am staying vague RATING: 4.5 STARS Black Fatigue is a book that I really think everyone should read - People of colour, whites, Americans and world wide. Fannie Lou Hamer in 1964 stated, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired", and after you read this book, you really understand that quote so well. Blacks should not always have to teach others about racism and the challenges they face being Black. Mary-Frances Winters does a great job in explaining Black Fatigue and constructing this book. I am staying vague on the content, as I want you to read this book and take it in. I don't want this to be a summary you read and think you've gotten the gist of the book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    This book pretty much summed up my post today. This book is so important, EVERYONE needs to read it, EVERYONE. https://www.instagram.com/p/CKPMe9gAC... This book pretty much summed up my post today. This book is so important, EVERYONE needs to read it, EVERYONE. https://www.instagram.com/p/CKPMe9gAC...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Beverlee

    Black Fatigue is an introduction to how it feels to categorized as "other" by mainstream society and how that continual stress affects the body, mind, and spirit of Black people. This book is the first that I've read that can be categorized as "antiracist reading", as Mrs. Winters is the founder and president of Winters Group Inc (diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm). I think her experience working with corporations and businesses to eradicate subtle and not-so subtle racist systems Black Fatigue is an introduction to how it feels to categorized as "other" by mainstream society and how that continual stress affects the body, mind, and spirit of Black people. This book is the first that I've read that can be categorized as "antiracist reading", as Mrs. Winters is the founder and president of Winters Group Inc (diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm). I think her experience working with corporations and businesses to eradicate subtle and not-so subtle racist systems that permeate a workplace are valuable beyond measure. It is telling that she left a career in Corporate America to build a business that tries to remove what is wrong with America as reflected in the workplace, schools, health care settings, and law enforcement. It's not a big part of the book, but mentorship is important especially when a young person can see and work with someone that looks like them. Black Fatigue has multiple purposes- educating white readers on how white supremacy and privilege is damaging to Black people specifically (BIPOC as a whole) and how to become an antiracist ally, a guide on how Black people can protect their peace of mind, and how we can work together to create a world where color will be seen as vital and beautiful. Words to think about: "I reimagine a decolonized world that bends toward racial justice. In that world, we would never see another Black person gunned down by law enforcement or anybody else solely on the basis of their race. Black people would truly feel, based on equitable treatment, as if we belong in our own country; we could count on all the systems to work just as well for Black people as they do for white people; we would focus on achieving equity, not equality; white people would no longer, on the one hand, appropriate our culture and, on the other, treat us as inferior beings; white people would understand that because white culture is "normal," it renders all others "abnormal" by default; white people would understand white supremacy and that it will end only when white people see it as a white issue rather than a Black issue that they empathize with" (9). Definition of Black Fatigue "repeated variations of stress that result in extreme exhaustion and cause mental, physical, and spiritual maladies are passed down from generation to generation. It is a deeply embedded fatigue that takes inordinate amounts of energy to overcome-herculean efforts to sustain an optimistic outlook and enormous amounts of faith to continue to believe that 'we shall overcome' someday" (33). Chapter 6 should be read in its entirety. It focuses on Black women and it covers faith being the foundation of how we survive and Winters also discusses how Black women are criticized for their appearance, how the feminine ideal has never been applied compared to standing by your man and the high incidence of domestic violence, intersectionality, the workplace experience and the insults and aggressions that come with it (examples-"you're articulate", "can I touch your hair?", repeated mispronunciation of name). Chapter 7 should also be read in full as it traces the fear of Black men back to DW Griffith's film The Birth of a Nation, stereotype based on outer appearance (always dressed for corporate role, "Humanize My Hoodie" movement, the importance of respect, role of patriarchy, misogyny, and abuse. Chapter 8 resonated the most for me because I am a mother to a 14-year-old son. He's well aware of how his teachers and other adults perceive him. This chapter examines Black Fatigue in children, discussing the deficit perception that is often attached by teachers, being viewed and treated as grown at an early age, the necessary "talk" given in hopes that no harm will come upon their child if and when they interact with the police. Overall, I think this is a solid introduction to antiracist literature. My only criticisms are that I felt that the author tended to promote marriage as a cure for economic inequity in families and that it seems to almost excuse domestic violence when the man is the aggressor. She is quite open in stating that she is cisgender, able bodied, and heterosexual; also, of the Civil Rights generation, so this informs her worldview. One solution that is repeated throughout the book is to fix the system instead of fixing the people. This isn't to minimize the role of therapists and social workers, but to acknowledge that people carry some degree of responsibility, but the framework that we live in is broken. Cycles will continue unless there's radical change that involves moving out of comfort zones.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Weekend Reader_

    So here's the thing, if you are up to date on reading about the Black experience this book doesn't provide new information. What it does do, is organize conceptual frameworks in a logical manner. For me chapters 2, 4, and 6 were the only chapters that got firm head nods but everything else was not new. That's 1/3 of the book 🤔 I'm also not sure of some of the historical reference points specifically the Tuskegee expirement and the erasure of gynecological experimentation of Black women but digre So here's the thing, if you are up to date on reading about the Black experience this book doesn't provide new information. What it does do, is organize conceptual frameworks in a logical manner. For me chapters 2, 4, and 6 were the only chapters that got firm head nods but everything else was not new. That's 1/3 of the book 🤔 I'm also not sure of some of the historical reference points specifically the Tuskegee expirement and the erasure of gynecological experimentation of Black women but digress. Also I vehemently think Dr. Degruy's post traumatic slave syndrome is an incomplete framework that is misaligned bc it blames Black people for the position we are in rather than pointing to and connecting outcomes to structure racism (it's a dated from work that needs to be updated essentially with new works) and it is mentioned several times throughout the book. Now, with that out of the way, this book has it's place and audience. But more importantly I think my expectations for this book were too high. I was hoping to have a nuanced and critical approach to discussing of a very unique response to the Black body. It is not that. This book is a warm up or possibly an intro book. I don't recommend reading this book on it's own. It should be paired with other texts such as Caste, Pushout, When we become free, So you want to talk about race, Eloquent Rage, Hood Feminism-you get my point. But if that's not what you want to do read for introduction and nothing more. This book is probably better positioned to be most useful to diversity educators to take the text and further develop. So why the 4 stars? Like I mentioned it has its place and I realize I may be critical of the text one bc of my expectations, two it only scratches the surface and doesn't really critically discuss or frame Black fatigue beyond introducing concepts but I recognize that for some people it could be new info. The reason though for the higher rating is the book cites and references Black and PoC scholars who provide nuance analysis that I are seminal in race relation scholarship. I think it is a hidden gem of the book. So while I don't think it goes deep enough there is a plethora of resources to keep you fed. Take that as you will. In the end, I don't feel bad that I own the book I just wish I didn't pay full price for it. 🤷🏾

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jasna

    If you're pretty well-versed in anti-racism, this book is largely not for you. It provides a quick, solid introduction to the Black experience in the lens of systemic racism and its compounding effects for the Black community as well as more specifically Black men, Black women, and Black children. However, it stops there. There is not much time spent on the intersection of LGBTQ issues, respectability politics, mixed Black folks, or Black immigrants--the latter whom aren't descendents of slaves If you're pretty well-versed in anti-racism, this book is largely not for you. It provides a quick, solid introduction to the Black experience in the lens of systemic racism and its compounding effects for the Black community as well as more specifically Black men, Black women, and Black children. However, it stops there. There is not much time spent on the intersection of LGBTQ issues, respectability politics, mixed Black folks, or Black immigrants--the latter whom aren't descendents of slaves (a frequent and legitimate focus), but still suffer from racism in both a shared and unique way. The text is often repetitive despite its already small size. And, as with so many anti-racism material written primarily on Black issues, arguments and opinions are framed largely in simplified Black-and-white racial terms. Latin folks are mentioned occasionally, Indigenous folks rarely, Asian folks almost never (which seems especially egregious given the writing was done during the COVID-19 pandemic), mixed folks not at all, and everyone else not at all. The conclusion section even has parts about "what cna Black people do" and "What can white people do" and then everyone else is again left out, e.g. , me. It's honestly disheartening to be erased each time in these ways, particularly in books that claim to be antiracist. I think one can have a primary focus on Black issues without simplifying the truly vast multiracial and therefore multi-racialized reality of the United States (the book's primary landscape focus). I did learn a few things, such as the importance of Black churches, the tension of Black men being pressured to provide while systemic racism makes it harder for them to provide, certain statistics, recommendations to remove "micro" from "microaggressions" and other related words, the pathologism of civil rights activism from psychiatrists at the time, and tactics to reword language that centers white supremacy and systemic racism as the problem. There are some very tweetable sentences in here as well...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kala (ReaderthenBlogger)

    What Mary-Frances Winters does with her book is put into words what so many black people have said over and over and over. She presents the facts in a way that can not be questioned. The chapter in the book that stood out for me was “Racism Literally Makes You Sick” and that is because I have witnessed and been a victim of a lot of the things she discusses such as quality health care, racism causing chronic stress, and place-based fear increasing stress. I had to put this book down several times What Mary-Frances Winters does with her book is put into words what so many black people have said over and over and over. She presents the facts in a way that can not be questioned. The chapter in the book that stood out for me was “Racism Literally Makes You Sick” and that is because I have witnessed and been a victim of a lot of the things she discusses such as quality health care, racism causing chronic stress, and place-based fear increasing stress. I had to put this book down several times while reading it. This is not a book you can just sit down and devour, you have to let it deep into your system bit by bit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gabie (OwlEyesReviews)

    I didn’t learn too much that I didn’t know, but my feelings were definitely validated.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit” by Mary-Frances Winters, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, for Suzy Approved Book Tours Mary- Frances Winters, the author of “Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit” has written an informative, intriguing, thought-provoking and interesting book. The genres for this book are non-fiction, self-help, and stress management. I appreciate that the author has done extensive research and provided stu Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit” by Mary-Frances Winters, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, for Suzy Approved Book Tours Mary- Frances Winters, the author of “Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit” has written an informative, intriguing, thought-provoking and interesting book. The genres for this book are non-fiction, self-help, and stress management. I appreciate that the author has done extensive research and provided studies, and statistics to show the important data. The author also gives personal examples from herself and other sources to support how “Black Fatigue” is the cause of physical and mental health. The author does mention that discrimination against Black people hasn’t improved in many years, and that white people have to listen more to what it is like to be a Black Person. She mentions that schools don’t provide adequate resources. As a white retired teacher with many years of experience, I found myself laying out absurd amounts of money to provide my children (in my class) the materials that would both remediate and enrich each individual student. I applied for grants and entered contests with the children hoping to get the monies to get more supplies. This also reminds me of a very close Black friend, who went ballistic when her son, now of driving age, had “souped” up his car with loud music and more speed. She kept reminding him of the consequences of attracting law enforcement and took away his keys. The author also mentions the need for apologizes, reparation, and treating Black People like they matter. I would recommend this enlightening book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

    Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters Published September 15th 2020 SMH RACISM IS EXHAUSTING! This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people—and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects. Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Fran Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters Published September 15th 2020 SMH RACISM IS EXHAUSTING! This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people—and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects. Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to experience inequities and even atrocities, day after day, when justice is a God-given and legislated right. And it is exhausting to have to constantly explain this to white people, even—and especially—well-meaning white people, who fall prey to white fragility and too often are unwittingly complicit in upholding the very systems they say they want dismantled. This book, designed to illuminate the myriad dire consequences of "living while Black," came at the urging of Winters's Black friends and colleagues. Winters describes how in every aspect of life—from economics to education, work, criminal justice, and, very importantly, health outcomes—for the most part, the trajectory for Black people is not improving. It is paradoxical that, with all the attention focused over the last fifty years on social justice and diversity and inclusion, little progress has been made in actualizing the vision of an equitable society. Black people are quite literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. Winters writes that "my hope for this book is that it will provide a comprehensive summary of the consequences of Black fatigue, and awaken activism in those who care about equity and justice—those who care that intergenerational fatigue is tearing at the very core of a whole race of people who are simply asking for what they deserve."

  16. 5 out of 5

    _immareadyou

    5 stars "An opposite of suffering from fatigue is being "indefatigable" meaning relentless, timeless, unwavering, dogged, assiduous, or unstoppable." (pg. 177) This book was unyielding in its delivery. While Mary-Frances Winter provides her own experience of Black fatigue in her early life, she proceeds to provide the hardcore data of the results of this societal fatigue. Thus this gives no room for naysayers or the willfully ignorant "Racism-No-Longer-Exists" crowd. After she explores all the are 5 stars "An opposite of suffering from fatigue is being "indefatigable" meaning relentless, timeless, unwavering, dogged, assiduous, or unstoppable." (pg. 177) This book was unyielding in its delivery. While Mary-Frances Winter provides her own experience of Black fatigue in her early life, she proceeds to provide the hardcore data of the results of this societal fatigue. Thus this gives no room for naysayers or the willfully ignorant "Racism-No-Longer-Exists" crowd. After she explores all the area of life (areas that a good portion of the American population takes for granted) that Black fatigue penetrates, she presents tangible solutions. These solutions are not lofty or "unrealistic", they are practical, doable, and attainable. She ends by unapologetically putting the ball in white "allies'" court, as she produces the solutions; again emphasizing that racism is not a "Black" problem. "Black people are not the problem." (pg. 177) As I was reading, I could not help but notice that the theme of "appearance" was reoccurring in each chapter. Not specifically appearance in a wardrobe sense, although it is still a prominent issue addressed in Chapter 7, but appearance in the way of being in the white gaze. I myself have been victim to this in many ways; I have always been conscious of the diction I spoke in, the octave I spoke in, the hiding of emotions on my face even though certain moments appropriately called for it, incessantly smiling and laughing to alleviate the "anxiety" of others, etc. When it came to college and my career ambitions, I specifically specialized in a field that I truly believed would give me validation, because it was not a stereotypical "Black career"; whatever that meant. Everyone was knowledgeable of these unspoken "Color-Coded" career rules. I have had the experience of a Business professor, in an attempt to "put me back in my place" question my major when I took a stand for my friend who endured discrimination in her Business course. To question the validity of my presence she asked me, "What are you, a Sociology major?" to which I retorted "No, I am actually a Finance and Analytics double major, thank you." But looking back on this incident now, what would the issue have been if I was a Sociology, or a Psychology, or any other type of major? Why did I feel like I had an "up" on this misguided professor by proving her wrong in her assumption of what she thought of me? I had invariably bought into and affirmed this unrealistic "Color-Coding" of certain career fields. And for what cost, for me to eventually hate the field? Mary-Frances speaks on the various "-isms" that Black people could potentially face, but Black people are bigger than our -isms and should not be defined by them. This is not to say that we should be naive by these detrimental phenomenons, but it is to say that life will still go on. Black people are not responsible for the perceptions of others. If you accept that you are a living and breathing human being it is not your duty to not only prove white people wrong, but to also prove that you are worthy. Because if we go on like this, we will crash and burn. Finally, looking into this phenomena as a Muslimah, all of our genuine efforts and work should be directed to a higher power, for He is the Ultimate Judge. With that truth, we could truly be free. This book is an essential healing tool that I recommend to everyone!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tracy M

    I'm giving this five stars, because if you are White and new to the idea that structural racism is real, if you don't know the statistics about worse outcomes on almost any measure for Black people than White people, or if you've never really understood how you are privileged, then this is the book for you. She is clear, emphasizes these points repeatedly, and in the last chapter gives you some concrete ideas of things you as an individual can do to be an ally. If you're farther along on your jo I'm giving this five stars, because if you are White and new to the idea that structural racism is real, if you don't know the statistics about worse outcomes on almost any measure for Black people than White people, or if you've never really understood how you are privileged, then this is the book for you. She is clear, emphasizes these points repeatedly, and in the last chapter gives you some concrete ideas of things you as an individual can do to be an ally. If you're farther along on your journey towards allyship and actively engage in disrupting racism when you see it, you probably will not learn a whole lot that's new. I won't return to this book myself, but I would highly recommend it for many White folx I know who are new to social justice or routinely say things like "I don't have a racist bone in my body" and/or "I have a Black friend!"

  18. 4 out of 5

    abdulia ortiz-perez

    I received this free book from the publisher for honest review. 4 stars ⭐ ⭐⭐ ⭐ This is the first time reading from this author. What a beautiful wonderful amazing read. What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel did just that to me. Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! Can't wait for next book. I received this free book from the publisher for honest review. 4 stars ⭐ ⭐⭐ ⭐ This is the first time reading from this author. What a beautiful wonderful amazing read. What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel did just that to me. Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! Can't wait for next book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (The Book Club Mom)

    Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters is one of the most eye-opening, educational, and powerful books I’ve read this year. The terms and explanations included in the second chapter were extremely helpful and important. A lot of light was shed on a few things I was uncertain about, and I had many “aha!” moments. This book is an essential tool for continuing one’s path to becoming anti-racist, not just non-racist. Everyone needs to read this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    KayDee

    This is not a long book but it packs a lot into each page. I’d heard the phrase “black fatigue” but never realized the extent and consequences of it. From driving while black, jogging while black to just simply living while black, the author brings the fatigue engendered by all the micro aggressions, denials, health issues, etc. to the forefront of all the conversations. A book to be remembered for a long time and one that, hopefully, spurs the reader to action and allyship.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is a must-read. It is a must-read for those needing affirmation of why they are so very tired. It is a must-read for those who don't understand why we are so very tired. Put this on your reading list NOW. This is a must-read. It is a must-read for those needing affirmation of why they are so very tired. It is a must-read for those who don't understand why we are so very tired. Put this on your reading list NOW.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chavon

    Very informative and well written. My only gripe is the number of times the author used the word “fatigue” at the end of paragraphs. It was too much and made the book feel a bit cheesy. The point about Black fatigue was made without it being reiterated by using the word every couple of paragraphs.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Syvehlla

    A very informative book about racism and how it affects BIPOC. While I probably was not the target audience, I did enjoy it. I feel this is a book you give people who need to be further educated on black fatigue and racial injustice. Still, glad I read it. It reminded me somewhat (and referenced several times) Dr. Joy DeGruy’s amazing book “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” I think my favorite part of this book was all the research findings that were peppered throughout each chapter. It looks like A very informative book about racism and how it affects BIPOC. While I probably was not the target audience, I did enjoy it. I feel this is a book you give people who need to be further educated on black fatigue and racial injustice. Still, glad I read it. It reminded me somewhat (and referenced several times) Dr. Joy DeGruy’s amazing book “Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome.” I think my favorite part of this book was all the research findings that were peppered throughout each chapter. It looks like she really did her research before writing this book (despite the several typos). It brought a level of credibility to this book that cannot be disputed, and had references galore for all the research and everything cited. I also like that is suggests we hold those perpetuating white supremacy and racial injustice accountable for their actions, put our money in black businesses, and that it is okay to say “no” when it comes to educating white people on racism. Racism is “a white problem” as stated in the book, and if they need to be educated on it, instead of asking the nonthreatening POC, they can educate themselves. I took away one star for repetitiveness. I felt the book actually could have been slightly shorter because many things were repeated throughout. Though I do understand it is to help you retain the information, I am not a fan of so much repetition throughout books. Just a personal preference. Still, a very good book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Laura Freeland

    What an important issue to recognize and address, Black Fatigue. A real issue that we should all be aware of. 3 stars only because I read this after White Fragility and How to be an Anti-racist. The Kendi book was so powerful. Given her decades of experience working with corporations, I would have liked to have heard her perspective on what corporations could being doing better to address Black Fatigue in the workplace. It would be great to see that list so we as employees, journalists, consu.ers What an important issue to recognize and address, Black Fatigue. A real issue that we should all be aware of. 3 stars only because I read this after White Fragility and How to be an Anti-racist. The Kendi book was so powerful. Given her decades of experience working with corporations, I would have liked to have heard her perspective on what corporations could being doing better to address Black Fatigue in the workplace. It would be great to see that list so we as employees, journalists, consu.ers could hold them accountable. I will check out her other books in case she has already addressed these needed changes. She gave a great interview on The Black Agenda podcast. I recommend listening to it in addition to the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Favorite Librarian

    Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters is a great book for any reader seeking a wealth of information on the overlooked, and forgotten history of, discrimination in the Black Community. Imagined as a tree— Black Fatigue has many branches, stemming from a tree rooted in systemic racism: Environmental Racism, economic inequalities, racial profiling, racism in the workplace, and health disparities. Winter’s exploration of gender politics and stigmatized id Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit by Mary-Frances Winters is a great book for any reader seeking a wealth of information on the overlooked, and forgotten history of, discrimination in the Black Community. Imagined as a tree— Black Fatigue has many branches, stemming from a tree rooted in systemic racism: Environmental Racism, economic inequalities, racial profiling, racism in the workplace, and health disparities. Winter’s exploration of gender politics and stigmatized identities, social and racial injustices, and how to collective combat Black Fatigue are ingenuously articulated throughout the step-by-step guide, designed to educate readers on discontentment and discrimination, and what can be done about it. A history of tolerance for violence has laid the groundwork for injustices today. Winter’s research provides an insight of the current system’s roots in racism. Winter shares “Black people are fatigued because of the lack of progress in dismantling centuries-old racist systems” (p. 67). From disenfranchised Black Queer narratives, Blame a Black Man Syndrome, overlooked Black Trans murders to the recent Black Lives Matter movement— Black Fatigue explores the effects of racism on the Black psyche. This book truly reworked how I view racial disparity and how racism can shape Black lives. I greatly appreciate Chapter Six: Say Her Name. One line that truly resonates with me is: “Black women are stereotyped as ‘workers’ and have internalized this characterization by overachieving, self-sacrificing, and neglecting our health and dismissing the need for self-care” (p133). Black Fatigue’s connection between Black people’s psychological and physical health challenges as a result of enduring racism is refreshing articulation of Black Pain. Winter’s shared personal stories and findings illustrate Black people, as a whole, are beyond exhausted from a long, history of blatant racism. Black Fatigue beautifully illustrates racism can cause chronic stress and “health disadvantages are related to the harmful effects of chronic experience with race-based discrimination, both real and perceived” (pg 27). The Black Experience is a collective narrative and Winter’s exploration of multiple identities and intersections, classism in the Black community and her personal stories provide insight on how racism has adverse effects on the literal health of Blacks. The nine-chapter, step-by-step guide is a highly suggested title for readers looking information on subjects, such as: Post-traumatic Slave Syndrome Black Trans and Queer people of Color Racial disparity Black Lives Matter Trauma Imagery and Black bodies Mental health and illness Systemic oppression Racial injustices Intersectionality and Stigmatized identities Classism and Elitism in the Black Community Institutional Racism The Black Experience Black Canadian Literature

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This is probably one of the most difficult reviews ever. On the one hand, this book is so important. Every person on this planet should read it, period! For white people, especially those who are just starting to inform themselves, this book gives a broad introduction to the struggles Black Americans face every day, starting from childhood. I can also imagine that it is a great book for Black Americans to read, because it shows that what they experience is not an isolated experience, but suppressi This is probably one of the most difficult reviews ever. On the one hand, this book is so important. Every person on this planet should read it, period! For white people, especially those who are just starting to inform themselves, this book gives a broad introduction to the struggles Black Americans face every day, starting from childhood. I can also imagine that it is a great book for Black Americans to read, because it shows that what they experience is not an isolated experience, but suppression and disadvantages on a systemic scale. For people who are already familiar with systemic racism the book will not introduce a lot of new information. Nevertheless, it is a great resource, especially for white allies to argue with white supremacists, which is our job, because it gives you numbers to back up your arguments. Why only 4 stars then? I struggled with the book for two reasons: The first and most important one is statistics. I have struggled with numbers all my life, from school to real life. It is a major area where I am just lacking. This book has a ton of numbers, statistics and percentages. I know they are important, but it gave the book a very textbook feel and I struggled to connect to it. The second reason is probably just a pet peeve of mine, but the author constantly referred to other chapters (I mention this in chapter x, I go into more detail in chapter x) and especially in an e-book format this is very annoying. Maybe it was also that I went into the book with different expectations, focussed more on the emotional impact of racism instead of the statistical focus it actually had. Nevertheless, I can only reiterate that every person should read this book, especially every white person, because you will realise while you may experience one of these disadvantages in your life, maybe two, it does not hold a candle to what Black Americans have to go through on a daily basis, simply because of the level of melanin in their body. When you think: oh, but as a women I am disadvantaged, too. Yes, you are, but that is nothing compared to the disadvantages a Woman of Colour experiences. Instead of simply trying to eliminate your own disadvantages, acknowledge your privilege and fight to to dismantle systemic racism and racial bias in your own community. The goal is NOT to have white women equal to white men, the goal MUST be equity for all, and the road for Black Men and Women is so much longer and more difficult than ours. (Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Schroeder

    A vitally important read, especially for my fellow white individuals. Ms. Winters' repeated phrasing of "then is now" is something white folks who think racism ended with the Civil Rights movement and anti-racism work began with the Black Lives Matter movement really, really need to internalize as a daily mantra. What she writes about is nothing new -- which is so infuriating. Those of us who are white are still clutching our imaginary pearls in shock and amazement that racism is "still so bad," A vitally important read, especially for my fellow white individuals. Ms. Winters' repeated phrasing of "then is now" is something white folks who think racism ended with the Civil Rights movement and anti-racism work began with the Black Lives Matter movement really, really need to internalize as a daily mantra. What she writes about is nothing new -- which is so infuriating. Those of us who are white are still clutching our imaginary pearls in shock and amazement that racism is "still so bad," while our colleagues and friends of color are shaking their heads and saying, "We've literally been saying this every day for the past 400 years." Ms. Winters' emotional labor in writing this book is a gift that should not be squandered. I also appreciated how she integrated the work she and her diversity and inclusion company, The Winters Group, has been doing over the years. These concrete examples of what microaggressions look like on a daily basis -- which she joins Ibram X. Kendi in saying are anything but "micro," they are AGGRESSIONS -- applies not only to larger corporate America, but also to the nonprofit sector, to small businesses, basically, anywhere. For this reason, I think this is a particularly valuable read for white people, and people of any identities that give them power and privilege over others, who are leaders of their company or organization. In addition to "then is now," an important re-framing Ms. Winters gives is in her summary -- that instead of thinking and saying, "Black [and other people of color] are exhausted," we should think and say, "The systemic racism in our country is exhausting to BIPOC." We need to acknowledge the exhaustion of people with marginalized identities is not an existential, general exhaustion -- but rather something that has a very specific, very obvious cause: The white supremacy of every single structure in American life, from the education system to housing to the justice system to all of our daily interactions. The fact that this is and has been done so openly and transparently -- just as the latest efforts by the GOP to keep people of color from voting -- is unforgivable. Fellow white folks: I strongly urge you to read this book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Noor

    📌Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says AWARD-WINNING diversity and inclusion leader @maryfranceswinters This book 📕 #justreleased today! 📌It will provide a great resource to ENHANCE white people's education, especially. The bestselling author is well known esp. for her books; 2004- Inclusion started with I & 2017-We can't talk about that at work. She has written total 6 books. 📌BLACK FATIGUE: How Racism Erodes The Mind, Body, And Spirit. She talks abt health disparities, racism in the wor 📌Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says AWARD-WINNING diversity and inclusion leader @maryfranceswinters This book 📕 #justreleased today! 📌It will provide a great resource to ENHANCE white people's education, especially. The bestselling author is well known esp. for her books; 2004- Inclusion started with I & 2017-We can't talk about that at work. She has written total 6 books. 📌BLACK FATIGUE: How Racism Erodes The Mind, Body, And Spirit. She talks abt health disparities, racism in the workplace, racial profiling, economic inequalities & environmental racism. All this & add to it, the effects of Covid-19. The entire thing has taken a toll on the #blackcommunity esp. She talks abt the tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony Mc Dade, Nina Pop..among others.. How this hate killings have been happening for years..n yrs. Unarmed #blackpeople killed at the hands of law enforcement. The brief description of these killings, made a chill run down my spine. So much hatred, so much of unfairness, disparity, racism.. ARE WE REALLY worthy TO BE CALLED HUMAN? ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. She explains the #blackfatigue What is it? She addresses issues like "ignorance". How #racism literally makes one sick..?! The layers of it.. How it is choking the #blackpeople .. & they feel they can't even breathe.. And finally she asks for a collective action to combat Black Fatique. READ IT to experience how life is when #livingwhileblack 📌She wrote this book to; CHRONICLE the fear, frustration, anguish, rage that is the regular part of many Black People's daily life & how it affects the mind, body, and spirit. There's a lot of research that has gone into compiling this book. Please read it to remove your ignorance! Just because we don't know about something, or simply choose to ignore it, does not mean that it does not exist & it won't be forever that it is going to come after us & affect us too. We can always do our bit. Spread awareness.. #noorthebookwormreviews #blacklivesmatter

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    Borrowed on a whim from the library since it seemed like an interesting concept. I've watched some discussions about recommendations or whatever the opposition of recommendations are regarding certain book that discuss race, racism, white supremacy, etc. and I was wondering how this book might fit and what the author means by "Black Fatigue." If you've been thinking about of the above topics lately then a lot of the information within this book is not new. The author lays out the many issues that Borrowed on a whim from the library since it seemed like an interesting concept. I've watched some discussions about recommendations or whatever the opposition of recommendations are regarding certain book that discuss race, racism, white supremacy, etc. and I was wondering how this book might fit and what the author means by "Black Fatigue." If you've been thinking about of the above topics lately then a lot of the information within this book is not new. The author lays out the many issues that Black People face and how racism affects them and how it can manifest itself in many ways: socially, at work, in personal relationships, and more. And lays out how and why Black People are, well, tired. Tired of explaining, tired of defending themselves, tired of dealing with these issues over and over and over again. For me, personally, I thought the information itself wasn't new to me since I've been trying to educate myself and learn more. I would say, though, that the framing of the book is really useful. Instead of ONLY saying racism is wrong, or focusing only on what others should do (the author does offer some points, though), I thought it was beneficial to outline how and why it is now a a matter of "fatigue." Overall, I thought this was a good read, but am not sure if people would find anything necessarily "new" in here that hasn't been in discussion in the past several months. I would recommend this to be read in light of other anti-racist reading as a companion book (ie, don't stop at 'White Fragility'). This might also be really useful for leaders in the workplace--be careful when you ask Black People (and other marginalized people but this book is about Black Fatigue) to do work around diversity, equity, inclusion and justice and be aware of the burden that is being placed upon them. Library borrow for me and that was best.

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