Self-care matters to me because one day I will raise a young black king or queen, and I want him or her to know that they are worthy, praised and powerful. Not because of the color of their skin, but because that is how they were created.
"Mrs. Smith, you have breast cancer." Pure shock overcame me. Those aren't words I thought I'd ever hear in my lifetime.
The lack of representation of black and other minorities in academia is problematic and has far reaching implications on the type of research that is conducted, especially intervention research pertaining to the health of black people.
A critical first step in protecting your own health is talking to your primary care provider about the cancer screening tests that are right for you, based upon your age, gender and risk factors.
White pain is just taken more seriously than Black pain. If my mom's race affected her medical treatment and, ultimately, shortened her life, she wouldn't have been the first and won't be the last Black person that happens to. And that is not an abstraction.
We don't trust the news. We don't trust the "system". And then there's that cousin on our daddy's side who we love, but just don't trust. In this same vein, when it comes to scientists, researchers and even our own doctors, we say, "I just don't trust 'em."
Removing oneself from the struggle when "the struggle" is nowhere near won is necessary at times- and that is okay. Investing in self-care and your interests outside of "the movement" provides an opportunity for new leadership to step up and for the veterans to take a step back and recuperate.
While Washington seems to piddle with the plights of the privileged, African Americans remain at the top of the class for almost every major disease and bad habit that leads to them. Smoking-related illness? Yes. HIV? Number one. Diabetes? Absolutely.
Black wellness is the physiological resource that made the historical examples of liberation above possible. Be it by food, ceremony, or institutionalizing our healing practices, Black wellness asks us not only to believe in self-determination politically, but to imbue that belief with the raw material that makes the self feel vibrantly worth determining.
From Baltimore to Bahia to Ferguson to Freetown, the resounding mantra continues to be heard and declared around the world that while #AllBlackLivesMatter, we must never forget that in global health and beyond, #BlackHealthMatters, too.
Now at age 25, during the most pivotal stage in my life, I feel the most alone. My mother, although physically present, cannot reassure my doubts as she can barely remember her birthday, let alone my own. The most common misconception is the belief that we are immune to mental illness and that religion is a universal remedy. These ideologies have normalized our suffering and continue to alter our perception of mortality.
As a black woman, I feel as if I have to be more in tune with my humanness- I can't just focus on my soul, but the body that houses it and the flesh that gives it substance.
I believe there are many misconceptions about what mental health treatment looks like and stigma continues to be a burden by weighing down the choices that people are willing to make in regards to seeking help.
I was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant from a member of my congregation. It was truly a lifesaving gift, one that allowed me to be the father my son needed. On behalf of the 101,000 kidney patients waiting for a kidney transplant, thank you for considering the gift of life.
"Grey's Anatomy," put a spotlight on Sickle Cell Anemia. In all of her Black girl magic, actress Jerrika Hinton brought with her a spotlight for an invisible illness that affects millions of Blacks all over the world but goes largely unrecognized in every way, from visibility and awareness to local and federal funding.
Black women have the highest breast cancer death rates of all racial and ethnic groups. They are also 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Breastfeeding means less risk of breast cancer for mothers and their daughters.