I was on the Queen Ifama show this past Sunday on Blog Talk Radio. The ‘Truth Terrorist’ invited me to be a guest to talk about breastfeeding, and introduce an initiative to support Black Feminism in breastfeeding.
I had such a wonderful time talking about something I’m so passionate about. I love offering insights and ways to get more people joining in and explaining why we need to be proactive in breastfeeding support, and hearing their suggestions as well.
I was a bit nervous in the beginning (hence why I dorkishly explained my username), and when I was asked about being a doula, totally didn’t explain exactly what the significance of doulas are for Black women and why we need them. Gah!
After I listened to the show, there were some things that I felt may not have come across as clear as I would have liked, or that may be interpreted incorrectly.
Here are a few things I’d like to clear up:
- Breastfeeding is not a ‘fix-all’ button! I believe breastfeeding can and does help avert illness, infant mortality as well as offer many other benefits even on a local and global level, but I am unsure if I came across as suggesting if we just breastfeed then all health and social ills associated with a lack of tradition will simply disappear. I have not, do not, nor will I ever subscribe to this. Even though I agree with Queen Ifama — that we will be healthier as a society overall, there are far too many issues that we, as a collective people, must work on.
- When I talk about the ‘Strong Black Woman’ in this context, it is not a suggestion that I believe Black women are superhumans. Instead, one of the most dehumanizing results of racism and sexism is this myth that has been sustained for generations. Black women have been made to seem as if she can handle the weight of the world — without flinching — and with a smile, while silently suffering in her mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being. ‘Strong Black Women’ are dying. When I reference this figure, it is because I believe this is one of the many forms of oppression situated at the center of low breastfeeding rates.
- “We must all work at dismantling the stigmas to bring the one that is responsible for lowered breastfeeding rates to the top.” Correction: They are interlocking. We must eradicate them all.
Overall, I think it went really well — I didn’t leave crying this time around. I was invited back anytime, which is good because there’s definitely a whole lot more I’d like to talk about. I was also told I could even put a panel together for the show — and that’s insanely tempting. Who’s down?
I’m on in the second hour, at the 63 minute mark, and for about one hour through the end of the show discuss Black Feminism in theory, praxis and politics of Black breastfeeding. I’d love to know your insights or what you think about the topics at hand.
Disclaimer: Queen Ifama cusses, just in case you’re sensitive to profanity.