by Kathleen Richardson
“There are many issues facing the African American community, but if we don’t have our health, not much else matters” In the wake of the heinous violation of our community, and the subsequent murder of 10 Black individuals at the hands of a white supremacist, the burdensome question I ask myself is, “What do we do?” And the answer that comes from the depths of my soul is a resounding, “Resist, Retaliate, and Rebel.” And I respond with an AMEN, and ASE.
When people think of resistance against white supremacy, the image that comes to mind is The Black Panther Party with their guns. And while this method of resistance is completely relevant, as a Black Health Activist, another form of resistance comes to mind. The ideal of health and wellness as an act of resistance.
The original Black Panther Party(for Self Defense) has been inaccurately relegated to history as the group of angry Black men and women who wanted to “kill whitey and shoot pigs.” The truth is the Black Panther Party must be praised for the implementation of the community survival programs. The insistence upon self-sufficiency and self-determination in body, mind, and spirit is their greatest legacy and must become ours.
There can be no Black liberation without Black health. If we are not healthy in our bodies, minds, and spirits, how will we be prepared to tackle the myriad of issues we face in our communities? It is hard to do battle with white supremacy from a hospital bed, dialysis clinic or the waiting room of white doctors and specialists.
How can we address the poverty, the unemployment and underemployment, and miseducation of our children when we are sick, diseased, and dying at the hands of a system designed to keep us sick while they get rich. Being healthy, happy, and whole is our birthright and we must learn to tap into the inherent power embedded in the fabric of our DNA to self-heal.
Visit MelaninRichWellness.com and join the Underground Railroad for Health and learn how your health can become your greatest act of resistance.