All Black Everything, Health + Wellness

White Women Only

If you are not a POC, you won’t understand the significance of this post, but I will try to make it to where you have a gist of the point I’m trying to convey. In the Black community, mostly among Black women, there’s this stigma that anything against what we deem “the norm”, is white. Let me try to explain.

When I began living a plant based lifestyle, at that time, the face was white. Many people said that veganism was a white thing, or eating healthy was for white people. Most of these comments, actually all of these comments, came from other Black people.

See, our poor eating habits stem from slavery, and yes I can already hear people now: “why does everything have to be about slavery with y’all?” Well, a lot of what we deal with today stems from slavery: the racism, discrimination, exclusion, etc. Believe it or not, much of slavery still exists today. We are still underpaid, treated unfairly, and targeted by race soldiers, aka The Police.

Back to what I was saying: poor eating habits. Our ancestors did all of the cooking for the white folk and what was leftover, neck bones, fat backs, chitterlings, oxtails, and any other part of the animal the white folk deemed unworthy, was given to the slaves. That passed from one generation to the next, which is why we have the highest levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and everything else.

What most people, most Black people, don’t know is that veganisn stemmed from our ancestors before slavery, back in Africa. Our ancestors lived a mostly vegetarian lifestyle, consuming some fish. They are off the land. This is why you see so many of those in my generation, millennials, adopting a plant based lifestyle. In the age of technology, I feel like we were the last generation to learn how to research, the first to learn to research using technology. We do the most digging, reading and soul searching, which is why many of us have given up religion (that’s a post for another time). We’ve learned that Black history goes further back than slavery, which is what most white Americans don’t want us to know, which is why Black history month is limited to Black Americans post slavery.

Now to the point of this post: breastfeeding. In the Black community, breastfeeding is not a huge thing, it’s almost taboo. I’ve heard from other Black women that they were told breastfeeding is for white women and we are trying to be like them. Yes, I’m about to bring up slavery again. During those times, Black women weren’t allowed to nurse their babies.  They were made to nurse the master’s babies. Their children were left in the sun and only consumed sugar water. Fucked up? Yes, I know.

Thoughbi haven’t heard these comments personally, and no one in my family breastfed or stuck with it, it still isn’t something normalized. They do bring up formula and he needs to be in a bottle, mainly because that’s all they know. They don’t know or understand the benefits of breastfeeding.

1. Bonding

2. Building the baby’s immune system

3. Emotional stability

4. Fights off all kinds of diseases and illnesses

5. Lose baby weight

6. Can protect your baby from developing allergies

7. Can boost the baby’s intelligence

8. May prevent childhood obesity

9. Decreases risk of SIDS

10. Can reduce your stress levels and risk of PPD

11. Can reduce your risk of certain cancers

There are also many other benefits. It’s not a white women thing, it’s a mothering thing. As women, by nature, we are meant to breastfeed, and yes, I understand some women can’t breastfeed due to many factors. Though I never understood women who just chose not to breastfeed for whatever reason and I feel bad for those who were coerced into believing that Black women don’t breastfeed.

What brought in this post was the picture above. I saw it on IG and I reposted it. Every time I look at it, something in me just said to make a blog post about it to share information to expecting Black Mothers and to reassure Black Mothers who already breastfeed, letting them know that it’s okay.

What do you think about breastfeeding and have you ever been told it’s a “white woman” thing? Did you breastfeed? Why? Why not?

Product Reviews

We’re Going to Need More Wi…Sparkling Water

I made a vow this year to read 25 books. Well, starting on the first, I read one book, cover-to-cover. It was just that good. “We’re Going to Need More Wine…” by Gabrielle Union was a helluva read. It was nonstop laughter, sadness, anger and so much more. Fortunately, I had no plans to leave my house on Monday, so I figured, why not read a book that I digitally checked out from the library (checking out books is part of my journey to minimalism)?

I won’t get into too much detail, but majority of her book had a lot to do with her not being comfortable in her own skin as a dark skinned black woman. Growing up she felt like an outsider having gone to PW schools and being the only black girl, a dark skinned black girl at that. She talked about wanting to have her hair straight to make her less of a target to be bullied, which is something that I can relate to. I always wanted me hair straight and even though I was at a mixed school (Channelview), I was always picked on for some reason or another, but I think it mainly had to do with the fact that I was a dark skinned black girl who had long hair and spoke proper English.

She goes on to talk about the boys she dated, the boys she wanted to date, and the boys that didn’t show interest because of her skin. When she brought up the topic of her first husband, Chris, making it big in his career and how he wanted someone who more so fit the part, a lighter skinned woman, it made me think about how black men today and when they get a little bit of money, they go for the light skinned black women, Latinas, Asians and white women. It always baffles me how these men, our men, can think that we aren’t worthy enough to be on their arm when their status changes.

Union talked about how she found out her dad was cheating on her mom with a woman who looked exactly like her mom. Why cheat on your significant other with someone who favors them? I’m not seeing the sense in that. Then the fact that her mother knew but stayed because she loved the life they had. I think what parents don’t understand about their choices is that their kids see these choices and often times end up making the same poor decisions. It’s the domino effect that just keeps trickling down from generation to generation.

Rape is a huge part of this book and she explains how it has affected her life and her relationships. She was raped by someone she didn’t know, but often time that isn’t the case with rape victims and survivors. Coming from someone who knew their rapist, it’s not something you can move on from. You have to worry that you may one day run into this person, if your family will believe you, if they threatened to hurt you if you told. She talks about the kids that she mentors and the groups that she’s in and have worked with.

If you see Gabrielle Union and her resume of work, you would never know that she grow up hating herself, dealing with people who did and dealt drugs, binge drinking at a young age, having sex just because and so much more. I definitely will be reading this book again because it’s relatable and inspiring in so many ways.

I have always been a fiction reader, but over the past year, I have really gotten into nonfiction and memoirs, self-help, self-care, and anything to help better my life. If you haven’t read this book, I highly, highly recommend it.