No disrespect was intended. Gossip and rumor mills have killed off numerous celebrities who are still alive and well. While watching CNN I finally saw that the news of his death wasn't malacious hear-say, he was dead; but he hadn't been brutally murdered in the fashion I thought he'd be. I was shocked to learn that he'd previously survived two strokes before suffering the heart attack that prematurely ended his life at the age of 41.
The cause of his death resonated with me. I felt guilt for brushing his death away as a joke since life is a precious thing, but it was more than that. I began thinking of all my family members that have died throughout the years. I noticed an eerie pattern that hadn't clicked until that moment--- every blood relative that I've lost has died from related complications that were rooted in preventable ailments such as diabetes(type 2), heart disease, or hypertension.
Then my thoughts shifted to Black celebrities who died under similar circumstances. I immediately thought of Luther Vandross, Nell Carter, and Gerald Levert. Their lives ended prematurely, and I for one, think that it's tragic.
I am avoiding the temptation of being quasi-militant and revolutionary as I write this article. I could easily berate the Black community and say that we need to get our 'ish together when it comes to our health and eating habits. I could talk about the "evils" of the soul food that many Black people consume while referencing various statistics that support my claims, but I won't do that, not today!
What good would it do??? No one would receive my words and it would do nothing but incite a multitude of pointless and immature debates, disguised as thought-provoking dialouge. In the end, nothing solution-oriented would be produced. That's the easy route to take; today I'll take the road less traveled.
When it comes down to it, American culture is extremely unhealthy. It's not a Black thing, a White thing, a Hispanic thing, or an Asian thing! It's an epidemic that is affecting the majority of American citizens. Do not let anyone fool you into saying it's a Black thing. I am tired of the media, commentators, and bloggers declaring the dire state of all Black bodies, especially our women, who are always labeled unhealthy and overweight.
Guess what??? The majority of ALL Americans are unhealthy, sedentary, and overweight. Heart disease is the number one killer of ALL American citizens-- not only people with dark skin, thicker lips, and tightly coiled hair(that is grown, not processed or sewn onto one's head, but let's leave that topic for another article concerning "Good Hair").
Let us understand! Poor eating habits, obseity, and degenrative diseases are not "African-American problems," but we have more to lose than our white counter-parts!
Economically-speaking, we earn less money than the average Anglo-Saxon worker; do we really want to spend a large percentage of our net-pay on varying medications, treatments, and hospital visits for a disease that can be prevented by changing our eating habits?
Let us also keep in mind the sky-rocketing cost of health insurance that is offered by privately and publicly owned businesses throughout the nation--- many of these companies deny coverage to individuals who have developed 'pre-existing' conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, individuals who develop these ailments are usually forced to work fewer hours which will hit their pocket-books even harder if they have little-to-no health insurance coverage.
And let us not forget that those individuals who die prematurely reduce their chances of transferring generational wealth to their children and grand-children, instead relatives of these individuals risk inheirting generational debt.
Sadly, many Black Americans have prematurely lost a loved one and inheirted their debt; this weakens our influence in this captialistic society where money equals power.
If nothing else, we must maintain our health to help strengthen our families and communities; this is a simple revolutionary act in my opinion. We don't have to march and petition for the white man to accept us as equal. We don't need him to validate our worth, nor do we need him to understand our plight. I feel like we waste a lot of energy trying to get the white man to do that, these are ineffective actions. Let us strengthen ourselves! One applicable way that we can do this is by being mindful of the foods we eat and the physical activity we participate in to take care of our bodies.
There is much knowledge to be given, analyzed, and discussed; much more than I could ever fit into one entire article; this is why I have decided to dedicate my next 10-15 posts to healthy eating and lifestyle habits for Black Americans.
It is a new interest and passion of mine that I've been actively researching and implementing in my own life. Friends and family who know me personally may wonder why I've decided to become so diehard about this since I'm a relatively thin individual, but I'd like for those individuals to realize that being slim and having a nice body doesn't give one immunity from health issues related to diet and excercise--- that is one myth I would like to disspell!
A cousin of mine who is 5'7, 145 pounds, and 26 years old was recently diagnoised with type 2 diabetes. This is a case of a slim individual who developed a condition due to the overconsumption of glucose(sugar). Halle Berry serves as another example of a slim person who has developed a health problem due to a poor diet, she too, has type 2 diabetes.
Stay tuned to my blog, I have some knowledgeable, encouraging, and interesting posts coming within these coming weeks!!!!!
Keep it healthy and be breezy!!! PEACE!!!