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The Narrative of Black Women and Menopausal Wellness

By: Valencia Griffin-Wallace

In recent years, the dialogue surrounding menopause has gained momentum, and as a post-menopausal woman, I welcome this shift. Accessible information has significantly contributed to my understanding of the changes my body underwent during perimenopause. By the time a woman is in perimenopause, she is barely equipped with basic knowledge such as signs, symptoms, and coping strategies. According to a recent survey, more than 60% of women feel uneducated about perimenopause.

In this blog post, I aim to shed light on menopause, challenge misconceptions, and promote wellness.

The Taboo of Menopause

Unfortunately, society often equates menopause with aging, instilling fear in many women as if it were a thief in the night stealing their youth. Black women face insufficient representation in discussions about menopause. A simple online search reveals a lack of diverse menopause-related images, further perpetuating stereotypes. Due to these prevailing myths and misconceptions, understanding the truth of our menopausal journey becomes challenging, even for healthcare providers.

Demystifying Menopause: The Three-Phase Journey

Black women tend to start their menopausal journey earlier, experience it for a longer duration, and often have more severe symptoms compared to other races. Here's a brief breakdown:

1. Perimenopause: This phase is characterized by physical and emotional changes, such as hot flashes, mood swings, skin changes, sleep disturbances, and irregular menstrual cycles. However, there are at least 34 signs of perimenopause.) On average it starts in your forties and can last 4-7 years, but every woman’s experience is different.

2. Menopause: Surprisingly, menopause refers to a single day when a woman's menstrual cycle stops for twelve consecutive months, indicating the end of fertility.

3. Post-menopause: This final stage represents the remainder of a woman's life following menopause.

Disassembling the Culture of Self-Sacrifice and Reassembling Wellness

The stereotype of the "strong black woman" often leaves us feeling like we must weather every storm on our own. This self-sacrificing mentality is counterproductive to self-care and wellness, leading women to neglect their own health needs. Many of us don’t notice or become dismissive or the signs that indicate we are perimenopausal.

However, true strength lies in embracing vulnerability, seeking help when needed, and prioritizing our well-being.

It's crucial to understand signs of menopause, even if they make us feel like we're losing our minds or are overly stressed. To restore our wellness, we must recognize and validate our experiences.

Menopause and Self-Love: Building A Healthy Relationship with Your Body

We often sideline our health in the hustle of life, particularly when we are busy caring for others. We may postpone doctor's appointments, assuming we'll "find the time" later. However, prioritizing our health is non-negotiable. Regular visits to the doctor and staying on top of health check-ups are fundamental aspects of self-care, particularly during menopause. These visits provide opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of our bodies and ask questions, even those that may seem "weird" or "too personal."

Celebrating Your Journey

Embracing menopause is an act of self-love. It does not mean exiting womanhood; rather, it signifies a new chapter in our lives as women. It demonstrates our resilience, challenges societal stereotypes, and highlights our dedication to nurturing our own well-being. By listening to our bodies and advocating for our health, we can reshape the narratives surrounding black women and wellness.


Valencia Griffin-Wallace, the founder of Akanni Beauty, a menopausal self-care and wellness brand and author of "Motherless Child", is dedicated to guiding women through their menopausal journey. She provides empowerment through education, solutions, and a supportive community. Valencia strongly advocates for self-care, embodying this belief through her daily wellness practices.

Connect with Valencia Here: IG: valencia.gwallace and FB: valencia.gwallace and theakannibeauty FB Community Website:


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