Why Ferguson Has Everything to Do With Black Breastfeeding Week

August 29, 2014 3:28 PM

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Why Ferguson Has Everything to Do With Black Breastfeeding Week

The tragic events in Ferguson have exposed an inconvenient truth about which lives matter in the United States. About how stereotypes and unspoken fears lead to unsubstantiated actions with dangerous, life-ending consequences. As we learned that Michael Brown's body laid in the street for over an hour without detectives' attention, we saw firsthand the power of negative stereotypes to influence inhumane behavior. Like many mothers of young black males (mine is only 10 years old), I wept in fear for my own son, his future and for the feeling of powerlessness that many of us experience about the future and safety of our boys, even among those who are being paid by our tax dollars to serve and protect. I wept in disgust over the pervading sentiment that our children's lives are worth less than others and the prevailing narrative that as black people we don't care about ourselves either.

What does this have to do with Black Breastfeeding Week? Everything. While breastfeeding is a critical health imperative in our community as we battle unconscionably high infant mortality rates and poor infant and child health statistics, it is also a gesture of empowerment and self-determination. B...

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