Why is it that Black communities are at a constant disadvantage? For this blog post, I want you to put yourself in someone of color’s shoes. Ask yourself what your healthcare privileges are and how you benefit from them. It pains me to think about the people that are denied a basic right of healthcare and, therefore are at a higher risk of diseases due to lack of medical attention.
Cardiovascular diseases and strokes are the leading causes of death for the Black community; two diseases which can be tested for. What about stress, anxiety, and depression that go undetected for several years? These undetected problems mental health problems can make people struggle to live a healthy life. The homelessness, poverty and lack of jobs make it difficult to have adequate health care as well.
My grandmother was a victim to the inequalities that Black Americans experience daily. She worked for several years with the same company with no reward in sight. She showed up every day regardless of what happened in her personal life. Without warning, she was laid off and still was expected to pay the bills. Months of stress and depression built up, causing her to have a stroke. One day, her life changed, she was no longer able to fend for herself because the stroke led her to have an in-house aid to help take care of her. Due to the lack of knowledge, money resources, and health care provider my grandmother suffered from unfortunate health problems.
I refer to the issues in the Black community as a snowball effect because one problem turns into two and two turn into three and so on. Let us discuss why health care is a prominent issue in urban settings. Have you ever heard of the saying “money is the root of all evil?” Many problems stem from the scarcity of money. When money is low, the next question within growing families becomes ‘how will we be able to afford to send children to an acceptable place for education?’ Urban areas tend to have a low education system that do not provide the education needed for basic classes as well as life issues, especially things regarding one’s medical health. When there is a lack of knowledge about the medical warning signs for strokes, depression and even heart diseases, how can these medical issues be prevented?
When money is an issue, fresh produce becomes last on the list of priorities. How can you expect underprivileged communities to access healthy food options if they are expensive and there is a food desert in most of these neighborhoods? Food deserts are place that have a lack of supermarkets or farmers markets. Look at it like this, when you step into the “ghetto” you will see five liquor stores and three McDonalds before you see a place to access healthier food options. It is the sad truth that in low income areas have thirty percent more convenient stores than middle income areas. What does a convenient store have to offer? Snickers and juice for dinner? They have lower prices for a below average food selection. How is someone supposed to feed their child food with nutrients if there is no access?
I asked you to step into a colored person’s shoes in the beginning of this blog. It was not just anyone’s shoe, it was mine! I want you to begin to think about the frustration and anger someone can feel in the Black a community when basic needs are not being met or even cared about.