The complex relationship we have with money and the stress of being financially strained can lead to a vicious cycle that can make us feel completely out of control. This is a universal experience, felt strongest by Black LGBTQ+ womxn and non-binary people who begin their financial journies on the back foot due to layered disparities in pay gaps and historical mistreatment by financial institutions.
Just as money impacts our behaviour, our mental health can impact how we handle our finances, creating the vicious cycle we mentioned earlier. While the cause may look different for all of us, some mental health conditions cause a spike in impulsive behaviour and can influence how we spend our money and our ability to plan for financial obligations rationally, it can also create spending shame cycles that seem impossible to break out of.
Financial wellbeing affects everyone, as shown in the Cost of Living Crisis: Financial Stress and Employee Wellbeing report, in which 37% of employees stated that financial pressure is the top cause of stress outside of work. The same report shows that Womxn-identifying employees are 33% more likely to experience stress than their male-identifying colleagues. Research conducted by Money and Mental Health Policy Institute shows that of the 5,500 people surveyed across the UK, 86% stated that their financial situation has worsened their mental health and that those experiencing mental health problems were three and half times more likely to be in debt than those without.
Some of the best novels were written by artistic and gifted Black women. Books like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)” by Maya Angelou and “The Color Purple (1944)” by Alice Walker paved the way for Black female writers everywhere. Being able to depict unsettling and gripping retelling of their personal stories and fictional ones so intensely and vividly is one of the many reasons why books written by Black women have become the literary landscape of the 21st Century. We get to experience and explore dialogues on class, capitalism, race, family, love, and more.
We believe Black writers have some of the strongest and most vivid voices in literature so it is only right that we share with you some of our favourite reads by Black women so you can expand your library and immerse yourself in their stories.