Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Saturday September 28, 2019 Black Women United hosted a "Be Cared For" Community Spa Day for Black women in Sacramento. The new Health and Wellness Director Charlotte Banks had a vision to give Black women an opportunity to receive high quality spa services that some may never have access to. Black women suffer from the highest rates of stress, anxiety, and depression in the country because they are taking care of everyone else but no one is taking care of them.
Thanks to the welcoming arms of Reverend Doretha, pastor of A Church For All in North Highlands, who opened up her space for us to transform. The event was catered with health conscious foods by Sista Squad Events and massage therapists, volunteers to perform feet and hand washing came from all over to help out. Lush Skincare donated decadent body products for the ladies to go home with as well.
The spa day was revolutionary because self care is an act of political warfare in a world that is designed not for our survival but for our demise. The big question Elika Bernard the Executive Director posed to the organization was, "What would happen if Black women paused on taking care of everyone else and took care of each other?"
Shannon Scott an attendee shared her experience:
For a couple of birthdays, I would drive out to Camino, CA to a day spa for the full pampering experience. I would be called Cinderella, fed great food and be catered to... But there was always something missing. I was the only Black woman there. Some may be thinking... “So what!” For me that meant, awkward silence, weird stares, confusing conversations and overall lack of connection; isolation. On September 28, 2019 I attended a “Be Cared For” event for Black Women put on by Black Women United (BWU) and let me tell you this was beautiful!
I was immediately greeted with smiles, hugs compliments, encouragement, love, and I did not know anyone there but these were my Sistas! They took care of us with utter and complete humility and love! They soaked, washed and massaged our feet and hands with essential oil infused scrubs, seaweed, fresh botanicals, and top level of care.
I received a facial for the Gawds and a full body massage rubbed with coconut oil and ancestral sound therapy. The ambiance was complete serenity with candles, aromatherapy, health conscious food, spa water, a lounge area, and India Arie playing softly in the background!
We were at peace, and moved by this incredible act of kindness. Many of the women shared that they had never experienced that level of care before and when I think of it, neither have I. Being a Black woman is complex and for that moment in time, together we exhaled and were free! No I was not called Cinderella, I was (am) a Queen.