Racism is killing Black people. But it’s not just the atrocities that break into the mainstream news cycle. It’s also what award-winning diversity, equity, and inclusion expert Mary-Frances Winters calls Black fatigue: the crushing physical and psychological toll of dealing with a constant stream of racist acts and attitudes, from the clueless to the cruel to the criminal. It’s a phenomenon with which Black people are all too familiar. And yet, as a society, we struggle with dealing with the racial trauma and injustice that stain our history. And it’s time to do something about it.
Black Fatigue faces the disparate outcomes of intergenerational exhaustion that affect the intimate, daily lives of Black people. Winters writes, “I ask white people to read this book not only to be educated on the history of racism but also to be motivated to become an antiracist, an ally, and a power broker for systemic change. For Black people, I hope that it will be educational and affirming, and when one of your white colleagues asks you to educate them, you can refer them to this resource, so as not to exacerbate your own fatigue.”
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Black Fatigue is the first book to name and describe a phenomena Black people know well: the multifaceted physical and psychological damage wrought by simply living, day by day, in a racist society. This is a vital resource for Black and non-Black people who are looking for ways to heal, learn, and have productive and supportive conversations about racial injustice and trauma. To move forward, we need to know where we came from and where we are - Black Fatigue is the foundation from which we can begin to imagine a better world, together.
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Mary-Frances Winters is founder and CEO of The Winters Group, Inc., a global organizational development and diversity and inclusion consulting firm with over 36 years of experience. Among her many awards and distinctions, she was named a diversity pioneer by Profiles in Diversity Journal in August 2007 and received the Winds of Change award from the Forum on Workplace Inclusion in 2016. She was also featured in Forbes’ June 2016 publication, which honored some of the DC Metro area’s most powerful women. In November 2019, she was named by Forbes as one of 10 trailblazers in diversity and inclusion. She has served as a torch bearer for the Olympics and has previously been recognized as an Athena Award winner from the Chamber of Commerce for her contributions to women and the community.
Ms. Winters is the bestselling author of several books, including Inclusive Conversations: Fostering Equity, Empathy, and Belonging across Differences; We Can’t Talk about That at Work!: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics; and Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body, and Spirit.