On Tuesday evening in the fellowship hall of the First Baptist Church of Decatur, a different type of preaching was happening.
“Everything that I’m doing is really just me being in relationship with myself out loud and I feel so grateful for that because I’ve had such a spiritual shift shifting in myself over the last several months,” Rachel Cargle, author, activist and entrepreneur, said to a rapt audience during the Atlanta tour stop for her debut memoir, “A Renaissance of Our Own.”
“I really feel that, you know, my ancestors are like, ‘Girl, we’re going to make you as comfortable as you need to be. But the only thing you have to do is heal. We want you to heal and do it out loud.’ And I feel like that’s my work,” she added.
Cargle’s book is just one of many that have come out this year, or will be coming out soon, from Black authors aimed at addressing people’s mental health and general wellbeing. So, if you want some guidance to make a change in aspects of your life, family or community, here are four books that can help you:
If you’re looking to reimagine your life
“A Renaissance of Our Own” by Rachel Cargle, released May 16
Billed as a memoir and manifesto, Cargle’s new book delves into ideas of identity, belonging and how to live a life authentic to who you truly are.
The book breaks down reimagining your life across six categories: belief systems, relationships, feminism, education, work and rest. There is also a chapter on identifying your highest values.
Cargle says the book doesn’t give readers answers, but rather it gives them the questions they should be asking themselves to bring about their own renaissance.
If you’re looking to be more mindful
“Black People Breathe: A Mindfulness Guide to Racial Healing” by Zee Clarke, released March 14
In this illustrated guide, Zee Clarke, a yoga and mindfulness instructor, shares different breathwork, mindfulness and meditative tools centered on healing from the physiological and mental impacts of racism.
“We can’t wait for other people to get ‘woke,’ because we’ll lose too many of our own people in the process,” Clarke says in the introduction of the book. But a way to take healing into your own hands? Mindfulness.
If you’re looking to navigate family dynamics
“Drama Free: A Guide to Managing Unhealthy Family Relationships” by Nedra Glover Tawwab, released February 28
New York Times best-selling author and licensed therapist Nedra Glover Tawwab recognizes that every family has a story. If you need help understanding yours, her new book could be a resource.
In “Drama Free: A Guide to Managing Unhealthy Family Relationships,” Tawwab offers endless advice on navigating family struggles. Taking a deep dive into a range of topics, including neglect, abuse, addiction and mental health, her tips aim to give you the confidence you need to take control of your relationships — especially the one with yourself.
And if creating healthy boundaries feels like a daunting task, consider adding her first book “Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself” to your reading list, too.
If you’re looking to heal in community
“Sisterhood Heals” by Joy Harden Bradford, on sale June 27
Most Black women know the feeling of acceptance and joy that comes with Black sisterhood. When Black women get together there is almost always laughter, recognition and deep conversation. These life-affirming relationships are vital to our well-being, but as naturally as they come, they also require nurturing and intention.
In her forthcoming book, “Sisterhood Heals,” (Ballantine Books, $28) Atlanta-based psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford offers a guidebook to growing and sustaining the bonds of sisterhood by helping us reflect on and examine how we show up for ourselves and others.
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