Year of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

MFA: Dance

Directing Professor

Jeffrey Bullock


This thesis deals with mental health, with a focus on Black women. Historically, Black women are often so compromised, being constant caregivers and helping everyone else, that they forget to help themselves, not having the time and financial means to do so. If we go back in the time of slavery, many Black women were taking care of slave owners' children and suckling the white women’s babies instead of their own. By the time they got home and after diligently caring for other people’s children they were focused on their own children, who they had been away from for hours on end, in turn having no time to focus on themselves. During the times of slavery, women were abused physically and sexually, which created a lot of mental illnesses, crazed behavior, and post-traumatic stress, leading to death or their slave owners killing them. In today’s society, we still see similar instances of how women put on a façade, hiding what is truly happening to them. The history of strength and survival of Black people perpetuates ludicrous attitudes within the Black community of not needing help for psychological issues, including the stereotype that psychological therapy and natural healing are only for white women. However, natural healing is a part of Black history, as Black women healed through natural ways using the herbs that they had access to in the fields. This thesis will not only discuss healing wholly but healing through Mother Earth and the breaking of attitudes within the identity of the Black community that limit opportunities for healing.

Performance Access Statement

If you wish to see the creative piece or performance that accompanied this thesis, please complete the Request Form, and you should receive a response from the Dance Department within two weeks.