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‘Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat’
By Sentinel News Service
Published November 19, 2009

‘Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat’

In her memoir, Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat, (August, 2009, Independent Publishers Group) author Stephanie Covington-Armstrong vividly describes her struggle as a black woman with bulimia. This insightful and moving narrative traces the background and factors that contributed to Stephanie’s eating disorder.

She grew up poor and hungry in the inner city. Foster care, sexual abuse, and overwhelming insecurity defined her early years. But the biggest difference is her race: Stephanie is black. Her battle with an eating disorder takes a unique perspective as this disease is consistently portrayed as a white woman’s problem. Trying to escape her self-hatred and her food obsession by never slowing down, Stephanie becomes trapped in a downward spiral. Finally, she can no longer deny that she will die if she doesn’t get help, overcome her shame, and conquer her addiction to using food as a weapon against herself.

As an eating-disorder advocate, Covington has spoken at colleges and universities throughout southern California. She has been a fellow at both the Dorset Colony for Writers in Vermont. Covington sold a TV treatment, Kimchi and Cornbread, which led to a talk-show deal with MTV.

Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat, is the first book by and among black women about eating disorders and in it, Stephanie answers many questions about why black women often do not seek traditional therapy for emotional problems.

Armstrong will promote her book with a reading and booksigning at Monday, November 23, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.

Armstrong is a Brooklyn native and playwright who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. Her commentary on black women and eating disorders, “Digesting the Truth,” was featured on NPR. She has written for Essence, Sassy, Mademoiselle, and Venice magazines, among other publications. She authored the screenplay for Contradictions of the Heart (20th Century Fox), starring Vanessa Williams, and her plays “Three Stories Down,” “The Outside Sisters,” and “The Long Journey Home” have been performed in theaters in Los Angeles and New York. Her essay on bulima, “Fear and Loathing,” is included in the forthcoming anthology The Black Body.

Categories: Health

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