Black Women Widows Empowered's (BWWE) founder, Sabra Robinson, realizes that all widows are sisters and have one thing in common, the loss of our husbands. Losing a husband is an event no one wishes they’ve been invited to, no matter what culture or race. Grief is no respecter of persons and BWWE respects ALL widows, no matter the background. BWWE gladly promotes all widows on our various platforms of outreach, such as our podcasts, Public Facebook pages, and written interviews, however, due to our historical and generational challenges, BWWE was created specifically for the Black and Brown widowed woman because we need spaces too.
Our intent is to create a safe, online and in-person group for women of color who can identify with the unique circumstances and challenges faced in a world of intolerance while Black and widowed.
"Widowed women of color have unique circumstances that aren't always addressed in most widow support groups and organizations" Sabra Robinson
We are a non-profit organization designed to empower the black widowed woman. BWWE started as a Meetup group in Charlotte, North Carolina February 13, 2015, and later expanded to the Baltimore area in January 2016. Our intent is to reach the Black widowed woman by offering various empowerment initiatives.
Our purpose: to offer a safe space for sistas to network.
May my widow sisters find solace in knowing that you are among sistahs who get it. This group was created with the black widowed woman in mind, however, we are open to collaborating with all organizations, widows, and widowers. So, please know that yes, we grieve too. Yes, we get it too. But, we have yet to be on the same course as our beautiful non-Black widow counterparts.
THE HARD TRUTH
-In 2006, 25% of black widowed women were entitled to benefits as a wife or widow of a worker. Among white women, 38% were entitled to benefits as a wife or widow of a worker. (Black Women: The Unfinished Agenda)
-In 2014, 31% of older African-Americans were widowed. African-American women are known by many as one of the strongest groups of women in the world, mentally. (A Statistical Profile of Black Older Americans Aged 65+.
-The survival of African-American women often depends upon their ability to grow wise from experience (Collins, 2000)
-Relationships after the death of a spouse have been studied to understand how widows seek and gain social support during a time they are at risk for high levels of loneliness. (Van Baarsen, van Duijn, Smit, Snijders, & Knipscheer, 2002)
-Studies have reported that despite the connection many widows continue to have with their deceased spouses, having other companionship may be effective in helping symptoms of loneliness and in gaining new meaning in life. (Stevens, 2002)
-800,000 people are widowed each year in the United States. (US Census Bureau)
-Ronald Barrett, Ph.D., professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, has been studying African-Americans and grief for 20 years and finds that, as a group, we “tend to underutilize health resources” to support our physical and mental health after a traumatic loss. Good Grief, EssenceMagazine.com
-Black women are much less likely than other women to be eligible for Social Security Spouse or Widow Benefits. Estimated Percentage of Women Ineligible for Social Security Spouse or Widow Benefits because of Marital History among 50-59 Year-Olds is 34% (Black Women in the United States, 2014 - The Washington Post)
-Statistically, women are far more likely to be widowed and far less likely to remarry than men. (The Guardian)
-Blacks were more likely than the total population to be separated, widowed, or divorced. Five percent of Blacks were separated, 7 percent were widowed, and 11 percent were divorced. (We the People: Blacks in the United States. Census 2000 Special Report)
-According to a 2008 University of Memphis study, African Americans in Bereavement, 46 percent of the Black people surveyed said they spent less than two hours talking about their loss. Only 3.8 percent of Blacks surveyed said they had sought professional help.
-Black women confront many of the same issues as white women, as black men, and as working people in general, but these issues are compounded by the intersection of race and gender. In addition, black women suffer from not only the burden of their own employment obstacles but also from the lack of economic security among black men, and this third burden, which, as economist and college president Julianne Malveaux recently observed, is "why African American women cannot separate interests of race and issues of gender in analysis of political candidates, economic realities, or social and cultural realities." Black women may share policy agendas with black men and with white women, but it is important that the specific impacts of policies on black women not be ignored as we pursue common goals. (Black Women: The Unfinished Agenda. Wearing the Garment of Widowhood: Variations in Time Since Spousal Loss Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults)