‘African Essence’ Coloring for Health, Self and the Culture


Who said coloring is just for kids? Definitely not Erinn Sneed, illustrator of “African Essence,” a unique coloring book for grownups. There are many adult coloring books on the market … but few will engage the mind and the culture of the African American audience quite like “African Essence.”

An array of African symbolism including masks, drums, artifacts, people and mandala is incorporated into the various designs of this 60-plus page coloring tome. Whether at home, work or on the go, “African Essence” is the perfect pick-me-up from the day-to-day hassles of adulting. You can’t write checks with colored pencils, but you can surely color some stress away!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.” And racial disparities have life long stress effects on African Americans from pediatric to geriatric years. Coloring books have been shown to have many health and psychological benefits for adults that include:

  • Release of depression, anger, sadness and other negative emotions
  • Helps one to be present
  • Benefits people with PTSD
  • Helps with focus using the areas of the brain that deal with concentration
  • While coloring the brain goes into a meditative state.
  • Calming and relaxing
  • Enjoyable and fun
  • Relieves boredom
  • Lower stress levels

After attending HBCUs Wilberforce and Howard Universities, Sneed – an artist and graphic designer – began living by the idea that“we must tell and teach our own stories, create our own images and write our own history.” Dedicated to bringing high quality books that can be passed down from one generation to the next, Sneed has created several other coloring books that teach children about black history. Now, she has decided to let adults in on the fun with this latest venture, “African Essence.” The book is available now on Amazon.com.


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