SHE (Surviving, Healing, and Evolving)®
SHE (Surviving, Healing, and Evolving)®

                            Because we simply HAVE to                                                           take better care of ourselves! 


Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul



When I was younger, I wanted to be a dancer.  Perhaps, subconsciously, it was because I was seeking a way to relate to and heal my body from the childhood sexual abuse it had endured.   The body is such an amazing creation and the ability to be free with one’s body, to command it, and use it as one sees fit is so liberating.  Subconsciously, those of us who have a history of sexual abuse may be punishing our bodies by allowing it to get overweight and by not challenging it in some way that demands a high degree of physicality.  


Think about the way you feel after you exercise.  No matter how much we whine about getting in shape, we learn so much about ourselves when we exercise.  Like a fine tuned, highly skilled athlete, we learn that we can push ourselves to limits that, perhaps, we never imagined.  It feels good to know that we are, indeed, winners.  Our bodies feel good afterwards, and we sleep so much better.


It is a great paradox that we rebel against exercising; yet, we feel so good after we do.  The therapeutic aspects are documented and undeniable.  Why not ease into exercising by doing something fun — dancing!  Dancers, like entertainer extraordinaire, Debbie Allen, and the first African American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland, have the type of confidence and self-assuredness with their bodies that so many of us lack, so dancing is helpful to us on many different levels.  


It amuses me to know that the fabled actor, James Dean, once took dance lessons from the legendary Eartha Kitt, who was a dancer, singer, actress and all around tour de force.  Dean wanted to move like Kitt;  and why wouldn’t he?  Kitt moved in elegant power.   Fittingly, long before beautiful Halle Berry, she was the first Black woman to play Catwoman (on the television show Batman), and she was something to behold. 


What fierceness are you suppressing?  Take a class and find out.  I’ve taken belly dance, tap dance, and my favorite, African dance.  There were so many White women in my African dance classes, trying to get what you have naturally — the ability to move 

with poise and power, the ability to move gracefully and seductively -- if you want to!  


Begin to make peace with your body.  It is beautiful, it is fascinating, it is powerful and it is yours.  Own it.



This excerpt is from "Thirty-One Days of Thoughts to Meditate on Every Thirty-One Days for Women who were Sexually Exploited as Children -- "Day 19 Dance!"  


Which is excerpted from the book:  Surviving, Healing, and Evolving  © by Dr. Rhonda Sherrod





"Your fitness is 100% mental.  Your body won't go where your mind doesn't push it!"  Unknown


Again, I ask, Black Woman:  “Don’t you know who you are?”  

You deserve to live, and live abundantly!


On Getting Therapy

by Dr. Rhonda Sherrod


“They call out to those who are forever lost – dead or absent parents, spouses, children, friends.  “I want to see you again.”  “I want your love.”  “I want to know you’re proud of me.”  “I want you to know I love you and how sorry I am I never told you.”  I want you back – I am so lonely.”  “I want the childhood I never had.”  “I want to be healthy – to be young again."  "I want to be loved, to be respected."  "I want my life to mean something." "I want to accomplish something."  "I want to matter, to be important, to be remembered…"


“It is when these unattainable wants come to dominate our lives that we turn for help to family, to friends, to religion – sometimes to psychotherapy.”  


From: Love’s Executioner  by Irvin D. Yalom



Get therapy if you need it.  As a psychologist, I want you to know that you might be surprised by who gets therapy – brilliant, high-powered, high achieving, successful people!  They give themselves permission to get therapy, so that they can live fulfilling lives.  Getting therapy is not a sign of weakness or sickness in the debased kind of way that so many people still conceive of it; instead, it is a sign of maturity, strength, and self-love.  Doing something therapeutic for your mind is not any different from doing something therapeutic (like exercising and eating nutritiously) for your heart.  Good mental health is just as important as good physical health.  In the future we might even start getting an annual “psychological” just like one gets an annual physical examination.  Sigmund Freud called his brand of psychotherapy “the talking cure” because just having a dispassionate professional to talk to, who doesn’t impose stifling judgment or sanction, can often be highly satisfying, liberating, and even life-sustaining.  So, don’t be afraid to do it.


If you were somewhere suffering the signs and symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, and did nothing about it, people would consider that “crazy.”  So, if you are suffering mightily, mentally or emotionally, why shouldn’t you be able to access help in that situation?  Think about it.  I’m a firm believer that mental health is like physical health.  Just as your body can be compromised with a cold, or the flu, or something worse that requires medical attention, so, too, can the mind get compromised, breaking down your usual immunities for combating mental and emotional anguish and distress.  Nowadays, people laughingly talk about needing “a mental health day” off from work, just as you would take a few days off if you were physically ill.  That concept is always met with knowing laughter and affirmative nodding, because the truth is that people are really on to something even though they say it in jest.  Sometimes we do need to take some time off or engage in a course of psychological treatment.


If we look at mental health on a continuum, at one end of the spectrum is excellent mental health and at the opposite end is poor mental health, but most of us lie somewhere in between those two opposite poles.  Few people are completely at either end of the spectrum; that is, few people are in very poor mental health at any given time and few people are in the absolute best of mental health, no matter how they try to insist that they are.  Often, they are just “fronting.”  (I had to chuckle when one of my male students emphatically asserted in an undergraduate psychology class that, “Nobody is ever in the best mental health!”)


Again, most of us lie somewhere in between the two poles, but any one of us can shift – going in either direction – on any given day for a whole host of reasons.  So, you’ll hear people say, “I should have just stayed in the bed today,” or “I knew when I woke up today that this would be a bad day.”  Or people will say, “I’m going through it” meaning that for a couple of days or even weeks things just “aren’t right.”  Or people will say, “I’ve been kinda depressed,” or “I’ve got the blues,” but no one really wants to entertain those kind of comments, because we resist the idea that something could be wrong mentally or emotionally, and, in any event, we rationalize that the person will be “okay.”  Sometimes, we even, gratuitously, assert to our loved one, friend, or associate, “All, you’ll be alright.”  We, mindlessly, say that to people all the time even when we have no idea about the depths of a person’s psychological pain.  That is why we are so shocked when beautiful sisters, like the talented songstress, Phyllis Hyman, take their own lives, when they destroy their gifts by medicating their pain with alcohol or drugs like Whitney Houston, or when they burn through life fast like Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.


The brain is an organ of the body and, just like any other organ, it can, to use the vernacular, “get out of whack.”  Looking back on your legacy as a person of African descent, Ancient Africans believed that the mind, body, and spirit/soul should be healthy for one to have overall good health.  Like a car, we should be firing on all cylinders.  So, if one thing – say the body – is out of whack – it can throw the whole system out of sync, thereby making the whole system unhealthy.  If your mental state is not particularly healthy doesn’t that “cylinder” deserve attention?


As Black women, often no matter how smart, pretty, charismatic, and wonderful you are, your lives can still be stinted and circumscribed in so many ways, on so many levels, for so many reasons.  Sure, we are socialized to “shrug” any and all problems “off,” to “just keep on keeping on,” and to “keep the faith,” but we are only human just like everyone else.  So we need a new paradigm.  In fact, your brilliance and dynamism, Black woman, seems to be more than this society wants in a Black woman.  So, you end up internalizing your hurts and sorrows and chasing a cupcake, instead of a legitimate dream that could have and would have been fulfilled in a more just society.  Then health and spirit, and even sanity, can become compromised because you know that you are not living your life as you had previously envisioned it, or as you deserve to live it.


Sometimes, having someone to talk to is a beautiful thing.  It’s okay.  There are places like the YMCA, county hospitals, and centers for women that provide good low-cost therapy.  Get therapy, if you need it, because you are ill (e.g. clinically depressed or bipolar), grieving the death of a loved one, experiencing existential angst, having a hard time adjusting to a major, unsettling transition, having a difficult time managing intense emotions, dealing with an unaddressed longstanding trauma (e.g. childhood sexual abuse or adult rape), experiencing drug or alcohol addiction, diagnosed with a major chronic physical illness, suffering from a life altering permanent disability, or if you just need someone to talk to in order to sort out some things.  Get what you need, without fear, shame, apology, or need for approbation, because, trust me, many of your White sisters have no problem accessing therapy, and I am talking about the well-educated, wealthy ones with high-powered careers.  There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t recognize your humanity, too, and get whatever you need to be happier and more successful in life – even if it’s therapy.




This essay is from the book:  Surviving, Healing, and Evolving: Essays of Love, Compassion, Healing, and Affirmation for Black People © by Dr. Rhonda Sherrod






A Few Good Books I Recommend For You to Read


Love's Executioner and The Gift of Therapy, both by Irvin Yalom (and both are classic works in the field of psychotherapy).


“Love has, at its best, made the inherent sadness of life bearable, and its beauty manifest.”


Quote From:  

An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison.


An Unquiet Mind is an excellent memoir written by Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, a renowned clinical psychologist, scholar, and researcher as well as a phenomenal writer who suffers from Bipolar I (manic-depression) disorder.  She is an unsparingly honest author who writes movingly and unflinchingly about her very serious illness and how she has managed to craft an enviable academic career and a life filled with love and beauty in spite of it.




“Emotionally and physically taxing, the responsibilities of parenting are overwhelming for even the most stable people.  Imagine them for someone with a history of depression stretching as far as a late afternoon shadow.  The daily tasks – bathing, ironing clothes, dressing, braiding hair, making breakfast, preparing lunch, school drop-offs and pick-ups – require every bit of what little get up and go I have.  However, they define my day.  These responsibilities help me move past the temptation to rationalize myself right back into bed.  Most times.”


Quote From:  

Willow Weep For Me:  A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah


Meri Danquah is a brilliant, highly engaging, Black female writer who immigrated to America from Ghana as a child.  (She now spends most of her time back in Ghana.)  Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Essence, and the Village Voice, among other publications.  Ms. Danquah has crafted a beautifully written memoir about her own struggle with depression.  (She also talks about how difficult it was for people around her to accept her illness – after all Black women are mythologized as, and supposed to be, “superwomen” who are impervious to pain and who are supposed to carry everybody else’s pain while denying or repressing their own!)





“There are women who continue to care for families and children, when rape and sexual violence have ripped away all intimacies of family life.  Husbands, friends, lovers flee; they cannot bear the strain of disclosures, the effort of healing.  These women live alone in their nightmares.  They have no mediators for their ‘tellings.’  I write for the women who lie alone in the night.

“There is an uncanny silence surrounding the trauma of Black rape.  I believe I understand the silence of Black women who  survive.  I am a Black woman wounded, and because I kept silent for so long, my newly found voice is still emerging.  Silences have become important to me.  I’m not sure why I refused to tell.  But I do know I was intensely afraid of the truth in all its manifestations.  I was afraid to be heard.”


Quote From:

Surviving the Silence, Black Women’s Stories of Rape by Charlotte Pierce-Baker,

Dr. Charlotte Pierce-Baker is Professor Emerita of Women’s and Gender Studies and English at Vanderbilt University who has written courageously about devastating matters, including being brutally raped in her own home.  Her faculty website page notes that: “Since the publication of her book, Surviving the Silence:  Black Women’s Stories of Rape (W.W. Norton, September 1991), Professor Pierce-Baker has continued to travel and lecture on issues of Black women and sexual assault.  She has taken the topeic of rape into the classroom with her course on women and trauma. (Emphasis added)  Finding and creating a language is, for her, the first step in acknowledging and documenting the "colonization of the body of woman."  




Latest News & Events 





The BOOK by 

Dr. Rhonda Sherrod:


 Surviving, Healing, and Evolving


will arrive soon!! 




Quote of the Day

January 24, 2019


”Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”


Mary Oliver, 




Quote of the Day

January 23, 2019


“The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press.”


Ida B. Wells,

World Class Journalist, and Human Rights/Writes Activist


Quote of the Day

January 22, 2019


"The best way to predict the future is to create it."


Abraham Lincoln,

16th President of the USA



Happy King Day!

(January 21, 2019)


Thank you Dr. King for a life well lived.

So much love for you!


"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle."


The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Human Rights Leader and Martyr 



Quote of the Day

January 14, 2019


"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult."


Stoic Philosopher



Happy New Year!


Quote of the Day

(January 1, 2019)


“Even if it makes others uncomfortable, I will love who I am.” 


Janelle Monae, singer, actress, model, songwriter, and producer



 Quote of the Week

(December 30, 2018 - January 5, 2019)


”It’s not about supplication, it’s about power.  It’s not about asking, it’s about demanding.  It’s not about convincing those who are in power, it’s about changing the very face of power itself.” 


Kimberle Williams Crenshaw,

Brilliant Law Professor at Columbia University and UCLA


Quote of the Week

November 18, 2018


”I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.”


Fannie Lou Hamer,

Human rights activist



Quote of the Week

November 11, 2018


“You are your best thing.” 


Toni Morrison,

Canonic award -winning author


Quote of the Week

November 5, 2018


“Art hurts.  Art urges voyages-and it is easier to stay at home.”


Gwendolyn Brooks, 

Poet, educator, First African American to win a Pulitzer Prize



Quote of the Month

November, 2018


“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”


Elbert Hubbard,

American writer & publisher



Quote of the Week

October 28, 2018


“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”


Joseph Campbell,

American author and educator



Quote of the Week

October 1, 2018


“We must do more to raise awareness about the realities of sexual assault; confront and change insensitive attitudes wherever they persist; enhance training and education in the criminal justice system; and expand access to critical health, legal, and protection services for survivors.”  


Barack Obama, President of the United States (2009-2017) 


Quote of the Week

September 23, 2018


"At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice, he is the worst."



(#Justice for Laquan McDonald)



Quote of the Week

September 16, 2018


"This nation cannot endure half democracy and half mobocracy, half civilized and half savage."


William Henry Lewis,

All American Harvard football player (1892-93) & first Black assistant Attorney General of the US


(For more on William H. Lewis, click the SHE for HIM tab above!)




Quote of the Month



"Whether you have a PhD or no D, we are in this bag together.  Whether you're from Morehouse or Nohouse, we're still in this bag together."


Fannie Lou Hamer,

brilliant activist and strategist




Quote of the Week

August 26, 2018


“Being a singer is a natural gift.  It means I’m using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use.  I’m happy with that.”


Aretha Franklin,

The Queen

of Soul


(For more on the Queen, click on the SHESTORY tab above!)



Quote of the Week

August 19, 2018


“In the campaign debate, one of the things we talked about was his experience versus my inexperience.  I said, ‘I have a right to go up there and make a fool of myself.  I'll never know until I get up there.  If you're going to always judge people -- women, Blacks, Indians,  whatever-- against a white person who has had more advantages, more opportunities, and a quicker starting time, then we should never participate in anything.’”


Carrie Saxon Perry,

First Black woman mayor of a major U. S. city (Hartford, CT)





Quote of the Week

August 12, 2018


“If you don't have a lens that's been trained to look at how various forms of discrimination come together, you're unlikely to develop a set of policies that will be as inclusive as they need to be."


Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

Professor, Columbia and UCLA Law Schools




Quote of the Week

August 5, 2018


"Never trust anyone who says they do not see color.  This means, to them, you are invisible."


Nayyirah Waheed, poet and author



Quote of the Week

June 10, 2018


"We are stars wrapped in skin, the light we are seeking has always been within."


Islamic mystic, poet, and scholar


Quote of the Month


"At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country.  Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg, or your brain, it's still an illness, and there should be no distinction."



Michelle Obama






Quote of the Week

April 1, 2018


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Rev. Dr. Martin

Luther King, Jr.,

Human rights

activist and martyr



Quote of the Month


"She knew wonderful simples for ailments of body and soul, and bound up both in earthy ointments."

Lillian Smith





Quote of the Week 


March 24, 2018


"You're going to


struggle, so surround


yourself with people you




King T'Chaka to


King T'Challa


(For a Review of the Black Panther movie, click on the SHE Goes To The Movies tab above!)




Quote of the Month


March, 2018


"The Black Panther


Party was not a 


gang.  They grew


 out of a young


Black intelligensia on


college campuses."


Bobby Seale


 Co-founder of the


Black Panther Party






Quote of the Week


February 4, 2018


"Grab the broom of


anger, and drive off the


beast of fear."  


Zora Neale Hurston,

Author & Anthropologist




Quote of the Week

January 27, 2018


Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time.  If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday."  

Wilma Rudolph,

Olympic Goal Medalist




Quote of the Week

January 21, 2018


"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."

Mark Twain, 

Author and humorist



Quote of the Week

January 14 , 2018


"As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you the first time around."


Oprah Winfrey,

Media Mogul



Quote of the Week

January 7, 2018


"There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise."


Dr. W.E. B. DuBois

Scholar Extraordinaire



Quote of the Week

January 1, 2018


New beginnings, y'all! Another year, another opportunity to become who we came here to be. Let's focus on discovering the tools and strategies we need to move forward.  Then, each and EVERY single day, let's try to use those strategies.  It might not be easy, but it will sure be worth it!"

Dr. Rhonda Sherrod

Soul Survivor



Quote of the Month

January, 2018


"Trust yourself.  Think for yourself.  Act for yourself. Speak for yourself.  Be yourself. Imitation is suicide.",

Marva Collins, 

Highly-esteemed teacher


"I am a woman -- gorgeously designed, brilliant, charming, mysterious, funny, bewitching, cool, and, most of all, uniquely purposed. I am my own phenomenal being, and I own and govern myself!"


 Dr. Rhonda Sherrod



"Dipped in Chocolate, Bronzed in Elegance, Enameled with Grace, Toasted with Beauty.

My Lord, She's a Black Woman." 


Dr. Yosef





What makes you happy?








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