Black Don’t Crack
While American women of color contract and die of cancer and other treatable diseases at greater rates, the oldest person in the world recently, 116 year-old Jeralean Talley, was an African-American woman born in Georgia. Her successor Ms. Susannah Mushatt Jones, also an African-American woman from the South, suggests Black women hold critical information to add to the dialogue about health, nutrition and longevity. The African Heritage Diet, which is a modified version of West African diets eaten by Black people across the Diaspora, is primarily plant based – the typical dinner plate being 3/4 fruits or vegetables and 1/4 animal protein and grains combined. The ratio of carbohydrates to proteins is very similar to the touted Okinawan diet; Okinawans and Black Southern women also share the habit of maintaining strong community and social ties which are more critical than perhaps once thought; scientists theorize that loneliness is equal to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Integration certainly set us back, but if Black women keep showing up for one another like Black Lives Matter did last month, I think we will begin to see our health disparities diminish and new millennium COINTELPRO type plots destroyed.