scholar | Preacher | psychologist

chanequa WALKER-BARNES

Praise for Too Heavy a Yoke!

New York Times best-selling author and blogger Rachel Held Evans writes: "I was challenged, encouraged, and moved by [the book]. The chapter on the Trinity profoundly changed the way I think about self-sacrifice and interdependence, particularly as a woman, so I knew the moment I finished the book I had to have the author on the blog." Read her interview with Dr. Chanequa here.

Dr. Christena Cleveland, Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies at Bethel University and author of Disunity in Christ, writes: "In her recent book...Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes has given me and countless other black women the language to consciously name ways in which the interactive forces of racism, sexism, and classism have forced the StrongBlackWoman identify onto many of us." Read the rest of her article here.
Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength


Black women are strong. At least that’s what everyone says and how they are constantly depicted. But what, exactly, does this strength entail? And what price do Black women pay for it? In Too Heavy a Yoke, Chanequa Walker-Barnes examines the burdensome yoke that the ideology of the StrongBlackWoman places upon African American women.


She demonstrates how the three core features of the ideology — emotional strength, caregiving, and independence — constrain the lives of African American women and predispose them to physical and emotional health problems, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and anxiety. She traces the historical, social, and theological influences that resulted in the evolution and maintenance of the StrongBlackWoman, including the Christian church, R&B and hip-hop artists, and popular television and film.


Drawing upon womanist pastoral theology and twelve-step philosophy, she calls upon pastoral caregivers to aid in the healing of African American women’s identities and crafts a twelve-step program for StrongBlackWomen in recovery.