Thursday, June 30, 2011

Time to kick it new school!

My primary reason for starting this blog (beyond my personal journey,) is to bring awareness to the African American community about health and wellness. Personally, I know there's a ton to why don't we learn together!

I'm from a small town in Virginia; many people from the South (or natives of the South,) still depend on tried and true remedies to get through illnesses so we don't miss work and/or won't have a hospital bill hanging over our heads (with or without insurance coverage.)

I've heard some crazy, yet effective remedies: for babies- black shoelace loosely around the neck and potatoes slices in a diaper for fever, cod liver oil, horseradish, sage, saltwater, lemons for stomach issues, urine for acne...well you get the point.
These remedies were great substitutes for medical treatment; due to slavery and the Jim Crow era, African Americans couldn't make it to the doctor or couldn't be seen by a doctor.

Fast forward to the present: African Americans still face a problem with visiting the doctor for regular check ups and preventive care. Personally, I would say lack of healthcare for us is an epidemic.

Thankfully, others have taken action to address the issue:

USA Today posted an article addressing the health gap among African Americans, stating the Federal Government will assist with programs targeted to low income families and the uninsured. Radio personality Tom Joyner has also been a strong advocate for health and wellness; his movement "Take A Loved One to the Doctor" has helped redefine how the African American community participates in their own health.

African American celebrities Toni Braxton, Missy Elliot, Patti LaBelle, Seal, and the late Michael Jackson along with others addressed their issues with autoimmune diseases showing people of color their disease doesn't define them.

These are just examples of the strides being taken in our communities so we can live longer (and better!)

So, what's the lesson? It's pretty obvious this week...African-Americans (actually, all of us) must take the steps to be proactive in our wellness! We can't be ashamed or full of pride when it comes to being around for our family; a doctors visit is less expensive than a funeral.

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