Disrupting Systemic Whiteness in the Mindfulness Movement
Dr. Angela Rose Black is an activist, scholar, practitioner, and thought leader in the mindfulness movement. She is also the Founder and CEO of Mindfulness for the People LLC—a Black-owned social change agency that offers oppression-sensitive and culturally-responsive mindfulness trainings engaging Racial Battle Fatigue among People of Color and White Fragility among White people.
“As a way to offset my own health compromise, I began exploring mindfulness and meditation. And while I hoped to begin locating ways to support my own healing, I learned quickly that spaces where mindfulness initiatives were taking place were just an extension of the racial aggression and isolation I felt at-large, except worse. Because in these spaces, I arrived as a woman of color already fatigued by the racial isolation and racial aggression of the world, yet expecting and hoping to try on practices that might aid in diffusing some of the burden I carried. Instead, I had to navigate the complexities of feeling unwelcomed while curiously hyperfocused on; unseen yet aggressively over-directed by White practitioners and teachers. So while trying to make room to “pay attention with intention” to my breath, I just kept feeling like something about my presence, my very embodiment of Blackness, was both triggering and intoxicating for White folks there too.”