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Dejah Tinney

74-98 W Tyler St.
Hampton, VA 23668
November 8, 2016

Michelle Ebanks
President
Essence Communications Inc.
225 Liberty Street 9th Floor
New York, NY 10048

Dear Ms. Ebanks,
African American women deal with so much whether it’s with our own African American men or
within our communities as a whole. I feel as though we are not valued as much as we should be
which can have a burden and a long-term effect on us emotionally. The problem within the
African American community is the lack of knowledge and limited resources we have on this
topic. My primary goal is to educate and inform not only the African American community but
others as well on emotional abuse experienced by the African American women and make them
more aware. Because I attend Hampton University, an HBCU which is primarily women I do
believe that my topic is relevant to my peers as well as those who may attend HBCUs
themselves. I, myself, an African American women who sometimes feels the pressure of being
undervalued and unappreciated feels that I can connect with others through an article in your
magazine.
To my brothers and sisters, I want to stress the importance of knowing the difference between
someone who says hurtful things once a month and someone who says hurtful things daily which
can lead to long-term affects resulting to emotional abuse. According to Emotional Abuse and the
Emotionally Abusive Black Man, “black men’s communication with black woman is laden with
critical, belittling words.” This article specifically speaks about the black man who is verbally
abusive towards the black woman to make himself seem more superior and powerful. Their sole
goal is to tear a confident, educated and successful black woman down with the ability to create
sadness using only a few hurtful words. As black women, we need to encourage each other and
believe that we are tougher and stronger than the obstacles we face.

Based off of personal experiences, I have witnessed the black man’s drive off of negative
emotions. Their ultimate victory is attained when they are in full control of the woman’s
emotions. From a personal perspective, that is a very true statement, men often feel highly of
themselves when they are in control of all things especially you, the woman. Gunner Karakurt,
author of Emotional abuse in intimate relationships: The role of gender and age, says men “target
the emotional and psychological well-being of the victim.” In other words, they know the only
way to break a women down is not only physically, but also psychologically. According to the
journal, “emotionally abused women can be lonelier than physically abused women.” Evelyn C.
White, author of Chain, Chain, Change: For Black Women Dealing with Physical and Emotional
Abuse, wrote a book for African American women as well as Hispanic women dealing with both
physical and emotional abuse. The intention of this book is to provide resources for women
assisting them in the process of breaking free from physical, emotional and economic abuse.
Based upon the battered women's movement, the book offers them an opportunity for selfassessment and reflection. Hoping to encourage change within our community as Ms. White has
done, we must inform to make others aware.
Through Black Eyes: African American Women's Constructions of their Experiences with
Intimate Male Partner Violence, a book that explores experiences from nine physically,
emotionally and sexually abused African American wives, proving how systems of inequalities,
especially gender and race, help foster less-explored constructions and reactions to intimate male
partner violence. According to the book, “African American women are known as domineering
figures that require control which continues to make them vulnerable to the abuse.” Proving how
racism stops some African American women from enlisting help from resources that have
historically guarded white women. That is a cycle that we, as a community must break.
Website BMJ Open published an article written by Krim K. Lacey, The mental health of US
Black women: the roles of social context and severe intimate partner violence, which provides
research and data on the mental health of African American woman affected by emotional abuse.
According to the website, “black woman experience intimate partner violence at comparably
higher rates than woman of other racial and ethnic groups.” The everyday discrimination
associated with the abuse resulted to anxiety disorders and eating disorders. Let’s all stand
together as one to educate and inform our peers on the dangers of emotional abuse and put an
end to the life-long affects.
Sincerely,
Dejah Tinney

WORK CITED
Cooper, Deborrah. “Emotional Abuse and the Emotionally Abusive Black Men.” Surviving
Dating Making Smarter Choices in Your Search for Love. (2010, December).
http://survivingdating.com/emotional-abuse-and-the-emotionally-abusive-black-man

Karakurt, Gunnur. “Emotional abuse in intimate relationships: The role of gender and age.”
Violence and Victims, vol. 28, number 5, (2013).

Lacey, Krim K. “The mental health of US Black women: the roles of social context and severe
intimate partner violence.” BMJ Open, vol. 5, issue 2, (2015, October).
http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/10/e008415.full

Nash, S. T. "Through Black Eyes: African American Women's Constructions of their
Experiences with Intimate Male Partner Violence." Violence Against Women, vol. 11, no.
11, (2005).

White, Evelyn C. “Chain, Chain, Change: For Black Women Dealing with Physical and
Emotional Abuse.” Seal Press, Seattle, Wash, 1985.