Take Charge of Your Health During Black History Month
During Black History Month, we predominantly recognize the leaders that have fought for social progress in Black America, however often neglect to acknowledge the Black scientists and doctors who have fought for the progression of health in Black America. And as a part of the fight for racial equity America, it is important for Black Americans to manifest awareness of their health and how they are being targeted through various industries, especially the tobacco industry. Accordingly, here are six ways we can take charge of our health and spread awareness in our communities during this historic month:
Find the Courage to Manifest Nonviolence
Sometimes, taking the initiative to create change can be scary. If you are unsure of how to manifest nonviolence in your community, start by creating a circle of people close to you who will provide support. This way, you won’t feel alone in your journey to take charge of your health and help others in your community do the same. Being an activist for change often means that you must face your fears, so start by instilling in yourself the power to know that you are capable of being a catalyst for change.
Seek Friendship and Understanding
People who have or are currently struggling to take charge of their health may have experienced negative responses to their decisions. As a result, those experiences often lead to feeling discouraged about where a person is in their journey, and furthermore, their feelings about the community surrounding them. Thus, seeking friendship and understanding in the journey to better health is crucial not only for the individual, but also for the community, because positive acknowledgement will never fail to encourage positive outcomes. So, rather than allowing negative thoughts to overcome your views on health in the black community, you must start by envisioning positive outcomes.
- What are your personal goals?
- How would you like to see your community prosper?
- How can you extend your personal efforts for the betterment of your community?
Asking these questions will allow you to be productive, manifest solutions, and move forward for the benefit of both yourself and those around you, rather than feeling remorseful about the past.
Seek to Defeat Injustices and Not People
It’s easy to blame people for injustice. And while there are many people who have and still do fuel the injustices that are brought upon the Black community, we must understand that it is much bigger than those people. It’s about a system that has been created to our disadvantage, and sometimes, substantial progress can be made through focusing on dismantling larger parts of the system. This is why focusing on manifesting positive solutions within our own communities through education and support is incredibly important. By engaging in movements against unjust systems, the outcome will be much more successful in the long run.
Educate to Transform
Education is a very powerful tool in the fight against health injustice, because it allows the Black community to better understand the ways in which we are being targeted. Through education, we will be able to formulate strategies that will aid in taking control of our own bodies and minds, therefore breaking free of the system that exists to negatively impact our health. Take some time to visit our resources page and learn about smoking cessation and other related topics of health in the black community. Then, take some time to share those resources with family and friends. Through education, one’s mindset can be enlightened and transformed.
Choose to Love Rather Than Judge
Much as we should seek friendship and understanding, we should also choose to love rather than judge. These two principles go hand in hand because choosing to love is choosing to have a sense of understanding. Your journey will not be perfect, just as no one else’s will, so having compassion will actually allow us to advance even further. If we feel that we have safe spaces to go to when we are struggling, we are more likely to feel supported and motivated to reach our health goals.
Seek Positivity Through Community
Finally, one of the most important pieces of your health journey is Community. While all of these principles can be utilized by the individual, they are more powerful when they are utilized by the collective. Developing a community where you can seek solace and learn from others will allow you to not only advocate for yourself, but also advocate for those around you. When you extend your efforts to others, it is almost always guaranteed that the growth of your community will lead to better health and relationships among yourself and your peers.