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 compounded by the intersection of race and gender while Black and widowed. We offer a space for Black women widows to relate to one another when dealing with systemic racism, inequalities, and the complications associated with losing a spouse.
"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's mission is to aid widows back to spiritual, emotional, and physical wholeness through means of mentoring, social and physical interactions, podcasting, arts and entertainment, book & magazine publishing, sisterhood calls, blogs, and wellness events. We hope that you will support us in our endeavors.
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. 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 2020, there were 68.43 million married men and 69.34 married women living in the United States. This is compared to 3.48 million widowed men and 11.27 million widowed women. (Statista.com)
-(Archives) Unlike the widows with children, widows under age 60 without children under age 18 seem somewhat worse off financially than divorced and separated women without children. Young Widows and Their Children: A Comparative Report (1978)
-Out of 115 Black women widows surveyed, 62% (72) indicated that counseling helped. While 38% (43) indicated that counseling did not help. Black Women Widows Empowered Support Group Survey, 2019/2020.
-Out of 115 Black women widows surveyed, 73% (85) indicated that they did not feel suicidal while 25% (28) have felt suicidal in the past. Black Women Widows Empowered Support Group Survey, 2019/2020.
-Out of 115 Black women widows surveyed, 2% (2) felt suicidal by the conclusion of the survey. Black Women Widows Empowered Support Group Survey, 2019/2020.
-Overall, African Americans reported higher levels of complicated grief symptoms than Caucasians, especially when they spent less time speaking to others about their loss experience. National Library of Medicine. African Americans in bereavement: grief as a function of ethnicity
-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. (Wearing the Garment of Widowhood: Variations in Time Since Spousal Loss Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults))
-The financial strain of long-term widowhood can be more pronounced for women of ethnic and racial minority status who may be less closely tied to the formal economy of wages and pensions. (Wearing the Garment of Widowhood: Variations in Time Since Spousal Loss Among CommunityDwelling Older Adults)
-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)
-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)
-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)