Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia

Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia

by Stephanie Covington Armstrong
Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia

Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia

by Stephanie Covington Armstrong


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Describing her struggle as a black woman with an eating disorder that is consistently portrayed as a white woman's problem, this insightful and moving narrative traces the background and factors that caused her bulimia. Moving coast to coast, she tries to escape her self-hatred and obsession by never slowing down, unaware that she is caught in downward spiral emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Finally she can no longer deny that she will die if she doesn't get help, overcome her shame, and conquer her addiction. But seeking help only reinforces her negative self-image, and she discovers her race makes her an oddity in the all-white programs for eating disorders. This memoir of her experiences answers many questions about why black women often do not seek traditional therapy for emotional problems.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556527869
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/01/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 528,800
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Stephanie Covington Armstrong is a playwright and screenwriter who has written for Essence, Mademoiselle, Sassy, and Venice magazines. Her essay on bulima, "Fear and Loathing," is included in the forthcoming Norton anthology The Black Body. She lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

A Note from the Author vii

Eating ... ix

Part 1 Before

A Hungry Childhood 3

Returning Home 7

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn 23

Monster in the Family 39

Father's Day 47

Missing Mommy 57

A Communist Among Us 63

The Trouble with Puberty 81

Tragedies 93

Part 2 During

On My Own 107

Losing It 115

Hollywood, California 123

What Goes Down Must Come Up 135

Manorexic 151

New York 161

Location, Location, Location 177

Dating for Doughnuts 189

Resistance Is Futile 195

Part 3 After

Giving Up the Fight 209

The Inward Journey 225

On Solid Ground 233

Acknowledgments 239

What People are Saying About This

Hill Harper

Hurrah for a woman bold enough to throw open the closet door and tell the truth about her relationship with food. (Hill Harper, actor, CSI: NY, and author, Letters to a Young Brother)

Aimee Liu

Armstrong's perspective . . . will go a long way toward breaking down the myths about eating disorders that are preventing so many, many people of color from seeking the treatment they need. (Aimee Liu, author, Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders)

Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

The sooner we . . . confront all of the issues-like food addiction, depression, and sexual abuse-that keep us hurting and hiding, the sooner we can begin to heal. Armstrong's book is an answer to millions of black women's prayers. (Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, author, Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman's Journey through Depression)

Jaime Pressly

Armstrong's intimate account of her battles with eating disorders shatters many longstanding myths and opens a space for those who have been silent for so long to speak . . . and be heard. (Jaime Pressly, actress, My Name is Earl, and author, It's Not Necessarily Not the Truth: Dreaming Bigger Than the Town You're From)

Stephen McCauley

Harrowing and compelling . . . a long-overdue look at eating disorders among African American women . . . a gripping read [with] universal appeal. (Stephen McCauley, author, The Object of My Affection)

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