Mad Madness: The Pandemic that has been with US

It’s 2020.  Black Death, Black pain, and Black anger stagnate the air. The toll of life under the unrelenting weight of whiteness has unearth the rancid and left bare the U.S. history, the rangled bodies of buried and un-buried Black people yearning to breathe free.  The metal shackles of enslavement morphed into the financial shackles of low-waged employment, unemployment, amidst economic booms performed out on privileged bodies – non-Black, careless, callous and reckless.   

It’s 2020. In the U.S. 100,000+ are dead in less than a trimester, the air quickly cleared of pollution as automotive and air travel halt.  The same air thickens with the pungent taste of racism – some the lips and tongues smacked sweet as the cellular tug of the ancestral call for rituals of dehumanizing acts onto the bodies of Black Others. Prove whiteness: affirm belonging and allegiance to segregation, Jim Crow,  the Action Block, the dislocation of millions of African peoples. Some lips smack with delight.  It’s feasting time. 

photographer Alex Love

It’s 2020. And, Coronavirus (COVID 19) eats its way through African American communities collecting breath like trinkets for souvenir. The current occupant of the house on the hill, chest puffed, laughs.  Life is Sweet. Lips smack with delight minute by minute, the delicious aching tug of racism’s ancestral calls.  The pandemic that has been with US for 400 years sears.

It’s 2020.  Fiber-optics in the ground. Satellites in the sky. Internet live stream Black Bodies fighting for a full breath of whatever air is possible.  ‘I can’t breathe’.   Yearning to breath free.  Tear gas, pepper spray, bullets, and Coronavirus (COVID 19).

It’s 2020.  The street are filled masked and unmasked.  Truth and clarity – the gift of Coronavirus (COVID 19). Everyone sees. Not everyone breaths.  Noxious, obnoxious, and obscene innocence – the lie of whiteness identity and allies.

It’s 2020. Black bodies piled high on street corners, in funeral homes, hospitals, jails, parking lots, and on lawns.

It’s 2020. Pandemic Racism meets Pandemic Coronavirus (COVID 19): Black Bodies.

It’s 2020.  Don’t stand close. Don’t even try to breathe.  Enough. 

Free Telehealth Service For Marginalized Communities

NanaEfua B. Afoh-Manin (BAM) MD, MPH, NanaEfua B. Afoh-Manin (BAM) MD, MPH, and Briana DeCuir, MD, (founders) are launching a free telehealth app and online portal called myCOVIDMD that safely connects individuals to resources in real-time, by real people. 

I have stated elsewhere that this is the time for an Underground Railroad of Health Care Professional working to save lives in African American throughout the United States and African Diaspora communities throughout the western world.  These three female ER Doctors apparently had a similar idea.   They have started the process of a movement I believe is needed globally.   I will tentatively call it The Underground Railroad of Health Professions for Us (URHPU).  

Read more and access myCOVIDMD click HERE.

Dr. Melissa Barber – (of Melissa’s Thanks) organizes Coronavirus (COVID 19) response in her community

One of the biggest ideas that came from the Cuban Revolution was that everyone, as a human right, should have access to healthcare and should have access to education. So Cuba has prided itself in making sure that these are very much pillars of its revolution, and that their people would always have access to that.

Dr. Melissa Barber, author of Melissa’s Thanks, continues her GREAT work! Read more here.

“In the South Bronx, Dr. Melissa Barber is putting into practice lessons she learned more than a decade ago from her training as a medical student in Cuba at the Latin American School of Medicine, or ELAM as it’s known by its Spanish initials. For Barber, healthcare doesn’t start with an ambulance ride to the hospital but with community organizing and a deep familiarity with the needs of one’s neighbors. Barber is also the coordinator for the U.S.-Cuba scholarship program that provides free medical school training in Cuba for aspiring doctors who commit to return and serve in their communities.”

April 2, 2020

April 2, 2020

It is the beginning of our future, but not the end of our present or past.  We are participating in the making of a new humanity; even as the incompleteness of the humanity some of us can claim to belong is fatally unfinished and flawed.  Six feet to confidently feel the sun, engage face to face; six feet to bury our beloved. Six feet of deference between the living and the dead;  life or death in six feet, a mask, and sanitizers. 

Dancing Life… 5

Ayodele Casel’s Diary of a Tap Dancer explores shared themes of hoofers past and present with stories illuminating the struggle and joy of expression, communication, the evolution of jazz music, gender inequality, and the personal and culturally devastating implications for women of color. 

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 4:15 pm

On Race and Health

Racial discrimination isn’t just harmful as it happens—its effects can linger for years. Tufts researchers recently found that people exposed to racial discrimination during early childhood were more likely to develop cardiovascular health issues compared to those who never experience discrimination, or who experienced discrimination later in life.

One of the most dynamic conversations taking place in and around fields of health and wellbeing is to what extent does racism contribute to the health and wellbeing of an individual across a lifetimes. For African living in the diaspora, and specifically in diaspora spaces largely constructed by colonial paradigms in place to protect and uphold white identity and whiteness through acts of physical and psychic assaults on black and brown bodies.

Researchers are gathering new evidence on the effects of experiences of racism and when along the life course these experiences are most detrimental. Read more below:

By Dominique Ameroso June 13, 2019 

“Racial discrimination isn’t just harmful as it happens—its effects can linger for years. Tufts researchers recently found that people exposed to racial discrimination during early childhood were more likely to develop cardiovascular health issues compared to those who never experience discrimination, or who experienced discrimination later in life.” Click to Read More!

OUCH!! Teeth In/Teeth Out!

I figure if someone is willing to write a book about dentistry and dental health geared for general public reading, then I am going to read it. Well  Donna R. Williams-Ngirwa has written just such a book; and I just ordered it. Over the past three years I have read several academic and clinical articles on dentistry and dental health, most with dreaded statistic about minority populations encounter with dental well being, but few offering any comprehensive interventions or insight as for tackling the issues that create the dreaded statistics. In these articles, the Asian population fair the worst, and not far behind are African American and African Diaspora in the US. Not surprisingly, my current interest (almost obsession) with reading articles on dentistry, is inspired by my own personal journey. Some years ago being informed, when I inquired for guidance as to what I could do to stave of a pending issue, that is was “it’s a common problem among African American”. My response: “it was that it may are common, but what can I do to not succumb.” My responsibilities was met with what could be described as dental profession eye rolling. You know what I mean, it was the equivalent of ‘get over it, it’s just a matter of time and you too will have it, because you are BLACK‘. I would like to say that I walked out of the office and never went back, but this was not the case. The dentist had already started work in my mouth that needed an additional four visits to complete. In my mind, he would damn well complete the work and then I am happy to see the back of him and his office; or more precise, he would see the back of me.

But truth be told, I have always been curious about this dentistry, especially as it relates to enslavement and the use and abuse of enslaved bodies and how that translated into the current. But that’s for another post.

I am encouraging all who can and are interested to read Donna R. Williams-Ngirwa 2019 publication: The Power of a Smile