The Photograph: Exposing the Hypocrisy of the Strong Black Woman Myth

Phyllisa Deroze // It is not that Black women have not been and are not strong; it is simply that this is only part of our story, a dimension, just as the suffering is another dimension one that had been most unnoticed and unattended to. bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black[1] Stella Meghie’s…

Hester La Negrita’s Illness Narrative

Phyllisa Deroze // In the Blood (1999), written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, has received a myriad of critical acclaim and scholarly criticism. This essay is an excerpt from a larger project that I am working on that aims to expand current discussions about the intersectionality of illness narratives, literary studies, and racialized bodies….

Black Maternal Health Week: A Movement in Motion

Phyllisa Deroze// As an African American woman who has never met my paternal grandmother because she died from postpartum hemorrhaging, and as a mother who is writing this essay while recovering from my third postpartum reconstructive surgery to repair the preventable damage caused during the birth of my daughter, I am elated to observe the…

From Denial to Acceptance: Black-ish Portrays a Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosis Journey

Phyllisa Deroze // Dre Johnson, the protagonist on the television series Black-ish, is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in season four. While the ninth episode, entitled “Sugar Daddy,” is another example of the award-winning sitcom’s exceptional ability to overlap comedy with serious topics relevant to African Americans, such as Juneteenth and the Black Lives Matter…