“No matter what you do, Chris, I’ll be proud of you!
Even if you were a street sweeper, I’d be proud of you!”-Clara “Mama” Simmons
Imagine growing up with those words constantly dancing in your spirit. Words that assured any doubt. Words that provided comfort to any confused personal or professional trajectory. Words that shaped a foundation. “I am proud of you” were the words that Mama planted in my soul several decades ago and I can still feel her energy 44 years later.
It’s funny how words can stick with you; the same is true for memories.
I remember three wishes she shared with me several years prior to her death in 2016: 1) she wanted to live long enough to see me graduate from high school, 2) she wanted to live long enough to see me graduate from college, and 3) she wanted to live long enough to see my daughter graduate from high school. Sadly, Mama was not physically present to see my daughter graduate from Kansas State University nor will she see me graduate with a Master of Public Health degree from the same university. But, Mama will always have the best seat in the house to see us grow into our own. After all, Mama wanted to be part of every major milestone in our lives because “she was proud” of us! And, I know Mama would be proud of this new endeavor, Blacktivate.
As funny as the thought is, please realize that I’m not just creating this blog so Mama can read it to her angel friends and brag about her baby. Although, I can totally see her doing that! Truthfully, I am creating this blog to provide understandable, accessible, and relevant evidence-based education to anyone who wants to make Black women’s health a capital concern. According to http://www.blackdemographics.com, there are 23.5 million Black women in the US. That figure represents less than 20% of the entire female population. But, sadly, Black women are disproportionately represented by health disparities in this country.
American Cancer Society reports that African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial and ethnic group in the US for most cancers. HIGHEST certainly isn’t 20%. American Heart Association reports that 49% of African American women age 20 and older have heart disease. Once again, 49% certainly isn’t 20%. I won’t bore you with too many statistics, yet. It’s only week one after all. But, starting next week, we are going to school and class will be in session!!!
Before signing off, I want to welcome you into the world of Blacktivate–a lifestyle blog written by a Black woman for Black women and anyone who cares about the health of Black women.
Black + Activate = Blacktivate
Activating the health and wellbeing of Black women.
Lesson 1 starts on Thursday, February 14, 2019.