2020 has really shown its ass. We have seen the worst of the worst this year: an accelerated amount of police brutality displayed throughout social media, the birth of public terrorists called “Karens” and the notion of BME being more susceptible to die from COVID-19. All jeopardising the health and wellbeing of the black community.
Now, we all know that Black people’s health has been publicly compromised and undervalued, which has been happening for year, decades, centuries, even before Slavery was abolished (AND we all know that the root of these said issues arose from Slavery). Yet, now in this modern day, the world has advanced and become a big ‘ole melting pot of ethnicities. Why does it feel like feel like Black health has not changed since the 1800s, instead of advancing like the rest of the world. Does Black health not matter?
As a community, we are prone to certain health conditions that other ethnic groups are not, like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Stoke and Hypertension as well as Obesity, due to what researchers concludes to our diet and where fat is stored in our bodies. Yet, to note since colonisation, our cultural food was and continues to be exposed to more than normal amounts of sugar, salt and white flour which attributes to those health issues.
Now is the best time to change your diet Queens, and substitute everything white (foods) for something that your bodies will love, like brown foods- bread, rice and wholemeal flour, honey or maple syrup for sweetener and the removal of dairy. I know dairy is a hard one to eliminate but the human body cannot digest diary, which makes black women more prone to lactose intolerance, and increases the risk of arthritis.
As a community, there’s an alarming number of Black women dying during childbirth. We are 5x more likely to have maternal deaths. Although, the causes are still unknown, many Black scholars think it’s due to societal stereotype of the black woman being strong, so doctors tend to ignore our complaints during and after labour. Celebrities like Beyonce and Serena Williams have experienced this while bringing forth beautiful black babies into this world.
Now, all our personal issues effect our mental health and how we see ourselves, so to have other additional pressures that society hands us, will hinder a progression made in your mental health journey. Black women are more likely to be diagnosed with severe mental health issues than other groups in the UK. I know that mental health was, maybe even is still a stigma in the black community, but we are now more open to talk about this issue.
To be clear, black health matters because as a black woman, I want to live the best way possible. I want a life full of adventure, joy and love, and see others who look like me, do the same; being our true authentic selves, yet all challenges presented in how we are dealt in world will effect, first how we see ourselves, second how we get medically treated, and if professionals believe us when we say “we’re not okay”. All stresses cascade the notion for us to question the reason why black health is so important.
Black health is important the same way black lives are important, we must protect ourselves and our community and see the future enriched with black people, who are seen and hopefully unafraid of living their best and healthy lives, away from racial bias and discrimination.
We have come a long way in terms of representation in the medical field where it used to be the majority was white and Asian healthcare staff. Now there’s a rise of professional black doctors, therapists and midwives that knows the best ways in healing us, as they may have personal experiences in dealing with the same issue. I think it is important to have someone who looks like you to treat you.
Here’s a list of a few black owed healthcare businesses:
Doctors: @doctor.tolu @mindbodydoctor @doctor.emeka
Therapist: @therapy_heals @creativegeniuscoach
(full list coming soon)