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Grieving While Black, An Antiracist Take on Oppression and Sorrow

A groundbreaking exploration of grief and racial trauma through the eyes of a Black end-of-life caregiver, Breeshia Wade.

Grieving While Black book cover

Typically, when we reference grief work in relation to anti-Blackness, people think about the grief experienced by those oppressed by White Supremacy. But, Breeshia Wade encourages those who are not Black to consider how their own unexplored grief amplifies the suffering of Black people.

Grieving While Back: An Anti-Racist Take on Oppression and Sorrow approaches grief as something that is bigger than our individual stories—as something that is connected to what we fear, what we love and what we aspire towards. Because grief impacts our relationship with ourselves and each other, and our social location determines the amount of harm we are able to inflict against others, systemic oppression can be interpreted as the result of our unprocessed but inescapable relationship to loss.

The book re-imagines our relationship to power, accountability, and boundaries and points to the long-term work that needs to be done to address systemic trauma perpetuated within our interpersonal relationships. Each of us has a moral obligation to attend to our own grief so that we can responsibly engage with others. Grieving While Black elucidates grief in every aspect of our lives, providing a map back to ourselves and allowing the reader to encounter their innate wholeness.


Author of the New York Times best sellers The Vanishing Half and The Mothers

A bracing, illuminating read.

Lion’s Roar

“Every page in this slim volume is a revelation. Read slowly—and more than once.”

Author of The Deepest Peace and The Way of Tenderness

“As Black people, one of our widest gateways to freedom is our very own grief. In the
way many Black women have stood as protectors and have held out their hands, Wade
stands at this gateway, arms open, inviting us into a meadow where we can take our
time, acknowledge our loss, and allow our grief to lead us into wellness. Take your time
and sip on this one.”

Zen teacher, social activist, and abbot of Upaya Zen Center

“This is a remarkable book, written bravely, wisely, and honestly, for all of us. Page after
page, I learned about grief, race, and justice—and, most importantly, about liberation. I
will return to Grieving While Black for the rest of my life.”