Black Women’s Yoga History: Memoirs of Inner Peace
Aishah Shahidah Simmons interviews Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans
How have Black women elders managed stress? In Black Women's Yoga History, Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans uses primary sources to answer that question and to show how meditation and yoga from eras of enslavement, segregation, and migration to the Civil Rights, Black Power, and New Age movements have been in existence all along. Life writings by Harriet Jacobs, Sadie and Bessie Delany, Eartha Kitt, Rosa Parks, Jan Willis, and Tina Turner are only a few examples of more than 50 personal case studies that are included, illustrating how these women managed traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression. Available in print and audible formats, Black Women’s Yoga History unveils the depth of a struggle for wellness and offers lessons for those who contemporarily struggle to heal from personal, cultural, and structural violence.
Stephanie Y. Evans, PhD is a Professor of Black Women's Studies in the Institute for Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University. She served as a department chair for twelve years at Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, and University of Florida. Her research interest is Black women's #HistoricalWellness, intellectual history, memoirs, and mental health. She is author of three books: Black Women's Yoga History: Memoirs of Inner Peace (SUNY, 2021); Black Passports: Travel Memoirs as a Tool for Youth Empowerment (SUNY, 2014), and Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954: An Intellectual History (UF, 2007) as well as lead co-editor of four books including, Black Women and Public Health: Strategies to Name, Locate, and Change Systems of Power (SUNY 2022) and Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability (SUNY Press, 2017). At GSU, Professor Evans is affiliate faculty in the Department of African American Studies, the Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma, and Resilience, as well as in the Center for Studies of Africa and Its Diaspora. In her writing and teaching, she highlights life writing and Black women’s traditions of self-care, communal care, structural care, and social justice as models of sustainable model for human rights. Her full profile is online at www.professorevans.net
Aishah Shahidah Simmons (she/her) is a Buddhist who has practiced vipassana meditation for 20-years, seventeen of which were previously in the S.N. Goenka tradition. In Fall 2021, Aishah co-created and taught, with Dr. Rima Vesely-Flad, the six-week online course, Buddhism and Black Feminism, at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Aishah is also a survivor of sexual violence and an award-winning Black feminist lesbian cultural worker who produces cultural work in documentary filmmaking, writing, and public speaking. She is the editor of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology, love WITH accountability: Digging Up the Roots of Child Sexual Abuse (A.K. Press), and the producer/director of the 2006-released, groundbreaking, Ford Foundation-funded film, NO! The Rape Documentary.. She is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, most recently, the inaugural 2022-2023 Changemakers Authors Cohort and the 2020 Soros Media Fellowship. She is on Instagram and Twitter @Afrolez