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Black Health: What will it take for us to pay attention?

Working in HIV, I've always had the battle of trying to educate my people on being preventive when it comes to their sexual health. I'm use to the excuses, the blame, etc.  I understand the issues around HIV but what about heart disease?  What about diabetes? What about taking preventive measures to reduce the risk of getting certain cancers?  Why are we the last to understand that our health IS something we can control no matter your economic situation. Yes, NO matter your economic situation. 


There are barriers to access to fresh fruits and veggies BUT you still have access to fruits and veggies. Its called harm reduction.  Its used in substance abuse treatment.  You do what you can to reduce HARM by making the best choices you can make.  Using your EBT card and buying better foods is possible.  There are farmer's markets that accept EBT cards and even WIC.  No excuses.  Make better choices when you can.

Advocacy is within everyone's power and control.  We are just not empowered to know it. Ironic huh?  We have to advocate for better choices in our grocery stores. We have to advocate that our local corner stores and bodegas have more than chips, cigarettes,  candy, and soda.  Write your local representatives about getting more grocery stores in our neighborhoods and we must support our farmer's markets.  MUST.

Those who do have some education around food security, safety, and sustainability must do more to educate others on the Slow Food and Local movements. 

I'm  not being naive about the barriers to health care and health services. Even though I'm not making a complete list, I understand the issue but I'm also saying,  we should always do what we can to live as healthy as we can, no matter the situation. Too often, its taught to those in poverty that they are helpless instead of directing and showing  how to live powerfully no matter what live brings you. There's always better choices. Always.

 Montana's Farmers Market Program

Self motivation

Its one of the of the harder things to come by but one of the most important aspects of survival. YOU have to make the changes for YOU. What are you waiting for?  Why are we, as black people, still dying from PREVENTIVE illnesses.   We die from things we never have to get. That's insanity.  In public health, we have to make programs incentive based because just being motivated to live a healthy life isn't incentive enough. Think about that.   We have to give gift cards and have raffles, etc. etc. just to get the community to listen.  Let's become proactive in how we live. Value your life.                                                       

As I continue my organization, I will continue to look at and study behavioral modification because that's the issue.  Its not just education but the motivation to change and the motivation to maintain healthy living is the goal.  I want black people, no matter where we live, to start thinking about our health collectively and individually.  We can keep our traditions of good soul food but how do we make it healthier?  I went to a family dinner and EVERYTHING had pork in it including the macaroni and cheese.  They put ham in it.  They didn't even realize that the made all the food less healthy by the excessive salt, pork, and over cooked vegetables.  Kill me why don't you? 

Next steps....
Do your research.  Workout.  Make healthier food choices. Meditate and prayer.  We can do this.


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