Willow Weep For Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression
by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
Publication Date: Feb 22, 1999
List Price: $19.00
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Imprint: One World/Ballantine
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
Borrow from Library
This moving memoir of an African-American woman’s lifelong fight to identify and overcome depression offers an inspirational story of healing and emergence. Wrapped within Danquah’s engaging account of this universal affliction is rare and insightful testimony about what it means to be black, female, and battling depression in a society that often idealizes black women as strong, nurturing caregivers. A startlingly honest, elegantly rendered depiction of depression, Willow Weep for Me calls out to all women who suffer in silence with a life-affirming message of recovery. Meri Danquah rises from the pages, a true survivor, departing a world of darkness and reclaiming her life.
The first book to focus on black women and depression, "Willow Weep for Me" recounts the author’s personal descent into despair. More than simply a memoir about depression, this pioneering work presents a powerful meditation on courage and a litany for survival. 160 pp. National media publicity. Buyer’s Choice 25,000 print.
A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression
The first book to focus on black women and depression, seen through the personal journey of a young black woman’s descent into despair.
Meri Danquah, a "working-class broke," twenty-two-year-old single mother, began to suffer from a variety of depressive symptoms after she gave birth to her daughter, which led her to suspect that she might be going crazy. Understanding the importance of strength in a world that often undervalues black women’s lives, she shrouded herself and her illness in silence and denial. "Black women are supposed to be strongcaretakers, nurturers, healers of other peopleany of the twelve dozen variations of Mammy," writes Danquah. But eventually, she could no longer deny the debilitating sadness that interfered with her ability to care for her daughter, to pursue her career as a writer, and to engage in personal relationships. "This is how the world feels to me when I am depressed," she writes. "Everything is blurry, out of focus, fading like a photograph; people seem incapable of change; living feels like a waste of time and effort."
She moves back to the city of her childhood where she befriends two black women who are also suffering from depression. With their support she confronts the traumatic childhood eventssexual abuse, neglect, and lossthat lie beneath her grief. This is not simply a memoir about depression, it is a powerful meditation on courage and a litany for survival.
- Performance artist and poet, Meri Danquah has written freelance articles for the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.
- This book is unique in the literature on depression because it speaks directly to the specific issues affecting black women.