Black history month is proof of America’s obsession with pacifist behavior. A sweet cyclic muse that we court each February, exploiting the notion that Black history is a subgenre of American history and therefore can be relegated to a month filled with partial truths — one short, concentrated heritage month spent divulging stories that have been diluted due to an overwhelming feeling of White guilt. This guilt urges historians to hide the truth and tell only those heroic tales of Blackness suitable for their grandchildren’s ears. This is not my Black history.Read More
In a world where Black women are still dehumanized and black women’s bodies have been used to perfect contraceptives, reproductive justice becomes an issue of fighting for humanity and protecting our wombs. Reproductive justice is about challenging images and ideas that portray black women as unfit mothers. Who can forget the billboards proclaiming that the most dangerous place for a Black child is in the womb? As a whole reproductive justice isn’t about giving women the choice to become mothers, it is also about giving mothers the tools they need to care for their children.Read More
Reproductive Justice is more than having an abortion or not. It’s about a woman’s holistic well-being and her ability to make choices for her health and her life overall. For Black women, the fight for access to healthcare and birth control continues. Prenatal and perinatal care are also issues that are paramount to full reproductive justice because it deals with what happens after a woman decides to have a child and gives her the opportunity to do what’s best for her health and the health of her baby. In addition, Black women should have access to midwives if they do not want to have a child in a hospital—or who don’t have access to health insurance that will pay for a hospital stay.
There are also reproductive health issues that affect Black women more than any other group, such as fibroids and HIV/AIDS. Up to 80% of Black women have fibroids, many of whom go through hysterectomies to remove the fibroids, a procedure that severely limits a woman’s reproductive choices. STI’s such as HIV/AIDS also limits reproductive choices, but are preventable through access to condoms and education. In reproductive justice, sex education is key to protecting ourselves from HIV and other STI’s.
In a world where Black women are still dehumanized and black women’s bodies have been used to perfect contraceptives, reproductive justice becomes an issue of fighting for humanity and protecting our wombs. Reproductive justice is about challenging images and ideas that portray black women as unfit mothers. Who can forget the billboards proclaiming that the most dangerous place for a Black child is in the womb? As a whole reproductive justice isn’t about giving women the choice to become mothers, it is also about giving mothers the tools they need to care for their children.
What are some of the things that come to mind when you think about Black women and reproductive justice? What does reproductive justice mean to you?
“We asked the owners and the stylists what were the products that they were using? And from those products what we did was create a list of the top 10 chemicals … and then looked at the impact of those chemicals – because they’re toxins – on our health and well-being. Anytime you look at any statistics for Black women, you’ll find that we are at the top,” said Robinson-Flint.Read More
Check out Stephanie Robinson commentary on Black Hair products during the Tom Joyner Radio Show. Feb 16, 2012Read More
In 2012 Black women are still exploited, swindled, robbed of humanity and spirit for the entertainment of society. However Venus Noir is not about the images of Black women, it is about the inhumanity of white men, it is about the debauchery of the British and French, it is a glimpse into European society and culture that devalues women in general and Black women in specific. It almost portrays Ms Baartman as a willing participant in her own enslavement and humiliation, almost. She is shown smoking to tune out, drinking to numb the pain and holding on through tears, as best she can to maintain her personhood.Read More
I and several members and friends of Black Women for Wellness spent three of the longest hours in my short life watching Venus Noir at the Pan African Film Festival on Friday evening. It was a mini fund raiser for the organization, and in that sense it was successful. We had a debrief, unpack and let it go discussion immediately following the movie right there in the movie theater and that was absolutely necessary. As the was really movie long, perhaps with the intent to drain one of energy, spirit and personal/community power. Perhaps the length of the movie was to drive home the point of her reality, which ever we were all devastated by these 3 hours, yet Ms Baartman’s life was this misery and even with her death the exploitation and humiliation continued.Read More
Much of what we know about health—reproductive or otherwise—we learn from our mothers, grandmothers, and aunties. Some messages have been helpful, and others have harmed more than they helped. Many Black girls are simply told by their mothers “not to get pregnant” as teenagers and young girls. While this advice is given with good intentions, it is often harmful because it doesn’t promote education about sexual health and safe sex. Instead, it paints a picture as sex only resulting in pregnancy and not potentially resulting in STI’s.
Another thing that we often learn in our households is unhealthy eating habits. We often are not raised in families that eat healthy or exercise regularly, and this is reflected in such health issues as diabetes and high cholesterol. Healthy habits and lifestyles start in the home, and we have to teach out children that healthy eating and exercise is the key to a long life and preventing life-threatening diseases.
Our mothers and grandmothers are who shape our views about reproductive health and healthy lifestyles, and it is no surprise that many parents who are obese also have obese children. The home is where we learn messages about health, sexuality, and reproductive choice. We need to start giving children all the information they need about protecting themselves and staying healthy in order to reverse the rates of obesity, disease, and teen pregnancy.
What lessons did you learn from the women in your family about health?Read More