Lay My Burden Down

Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis among African-Americans

Publisher: Beacon Press
Through stories (including their own), interviews, and analysis of the most recent data available, Dr. Alvin Poussaint and journalist Amy Alexander offer a groundbreaking look at 'posttraumatic slavery syndrome,' the unique physical and emotional perils for black people that are the legacy of slavery and persistent racism. They examine the historical, cultural, and social factors that make many blacks reluctant to seek health care, and cite ways that everyone from the layperson to the health care provider can help.


As a black woman thrashing with the new class divide and an intermittent but chronic depression that feels as old as rivers, I found [Lay My Burden Down] a relief, an assured voice in a wilderness [that] I felt I was essentially wandering alone. --Erin Aubry Kaplan, Salon

"A persuasive moral indictment of the mental-health establishment for not working harder to rid itself of prejudicial images of African-Americans within its own practices, and to address them in earnest in the larger society." --Matthew V. Johnson, The Christian Century

"A stunner of a book. . . . The positive message here is that these scourges can be prevented." --Leon Eisenberg, M.D., coauthor of Children in a Changing Health System