Color me sober: why open conversation is fundamental to recovery for people of color

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Washington, DC-based journalist and producer Shayla Martin shares her thoughts and experiences with sobriety and recovery within AA as a Black woman. Photo by Shutterstock.

In her KCRW program “Color Me Sober: Can AA evolve to include its most marginalized members?,” host, producer, and person in recovery Shayla Martin spoke to various AA members about the growing need for recovery meetings specifically catered to people of color.  

Jonathan Bastian talks with Martin about her thoughts and experiences with sobriety and recovery. Martin says that within AA, strict rules prevent a full discussion of “outside issues”  like politics or religion. Martin explains that when an “outside” issue impacts her and other people of color’s ability to stay sober, it’s no longer an “outside” issue. 

“Why do I have to edit myself and pretend like things are fine?” she says. “That's extremely dangerous for me, because that's how I drank.” 

Shalya Martin. Photo by Zoe Litaker Photography




Andrea Brody